The International New York Times discovers that people in the art world like Instagram. But the story can’t make up its mind whether Insta is meaningful to art sales or not. So let’s answer the question for them.
Instagram isn’t a sales platform. But it is an important and effective marketing channel that has changed the way buyers related to art. To measure its importance based upon a direct connection to art sales misses the point. Instagram is expanding the experience of art. Collectors use it to brag, goad, debate, inspire and mock their friends and rivals. Instagram takes what was always a social experience, art, and gives it a social media platform that allows users to participate in whatever social experience art provides them away from the art itself.
That’s a bigger deal than the silly quibbling here over who has the right contacts or not:
“A lot of seasoned collectors in the art world don’t use it as much,” Ms. Kuan said in a telephone interview. “They already have their own contacts in the gallery world and they go to art fairs, and may not be using Instagram that way.”
Hearing the results, Ms. Schiff, whose clients also include leading contemporary art collectors like Candace Barasch and Anne Anka, agreed with Ms. Kuan’s qualifications. “No way, no how — seasoned collectors aren’t using it like that,” Ms. Schiff said. “Maybe people in the 20-30 age range, but not over 40.”
Most of her clients are over 40, she added, and in her experience, “online sales for art tend to have a price limit on them of about $20,000, maybe $50,000.”
Anita Zabludowicz, an art collector and arts patron who with her husband, Chaim “Poju,” co-founded the Zabludowicz Collection, which consists about 5,000 works of art by more than 500 artists in London, New York and Finland, the couple’s native country, is an active Instagrammer, with a total of more than 65,000 followers for her three accounts.
Ms. Zabludowicz said she had purchased work based on Instagrammed images, especially from the Brazilian installation artist Adriano Costa and the New York conceptual artist Brad Troemel, which she added to her trove of works by artists such as Damien Hirst, Richard Prince and Nam June Paik.
“Instagram for me is one of the most important social media channels as it is the quickest way to absorb visual information, however shallow,” Ms. Zabludowicz said by email.
She added, however, that she rarely did any actual commerce directly on the app: “If I am working with a gallery, prices would normally be discussed by email or telephone, not via Instagram.”
Instagram Takes on Growing Role in the Art Market (The New York Times)