Art Business conference

Since April 2017 I’m very proud to start working for MTArt agency for visual artists based out of London. I represent them here in New-York. I have written an article for MTArt related to the Art Conference I attended. Hope you will enjoy it and find useful information regarding art world.

The Art Business Conference expanded from London to New York this year and held its first edition on April 4th. It was hosted all in one day and located on the 10th floor building overlooking Columbus circle and Central Park. More than 250 professionals from 140 art organizations attended the conference. MTArt was one of them.

Insurance companies, auction houses, professional advisers, financial institutions, art galleries, transportation companies, research firms etc – all were eager to discuss the future of the art world: from Free Trade zones and risks preventions in New-York city to digital innovations and new ways of selling art.

The opening speech of the Conference begun with Sree Sreenivasan who works at the Mayor’s office of Digital Strategy in NYC. He highlighted the challenge in establishing the connection between digital and physical and how to get the human attention in a world where Netflix is the number one competitor of a museum.

Craig Davies and Azmina Jasani talked about the roadmap from legal and taxes perspective in the post- Brexit and post-US presidential election. We already know that there will be a lot of implications legally and taxes wise, such as VAT, artist resale’s right and export license regulations. Is it going to be a soft or hard Brexit? Will all EU laws remain? We are still guessing and we will not know until every aspect is renegotiated.

The most interesting conversation happened when approaching the subject of future business models in the arts. There is a common belief that the market is shifting now, that our current times are exciting and that our world is becoming more global. John Martin presented its Cromwell Place project which will ironically open the next day after the UK leaves the EU. Cromwell Place will be a place where galleries and art organizations could share exhibition spaces and offices on a “pay as you need” basis. Lisa Schiff talked about creating a highly needed intimacy between collectors and dealers which could hardly exist during art fairs, but could be achieved by visiting the gallery spaces or the artist’s studios.

On digital innovation, Sebastian Cwilich stressed that the question is no longer “To be or not to be online?” but rather “How to be online?”. JiaJia Fei from the Jewish museum mentioned that people who could never visit a museum will now visit it digitally. It was also mentioned during this panel that Digital is now a strong part of our art history. We live in an era where we tell stories digitally in the most compelling way.

The closing theme of the conference was related to trust and transparency in the art market. There is a huge demand for transparency in the arts. People are reluctant to buy if they do not trust. One of the panelists Julian Radcliffe was an avid partisan for the creation of a central database.

The next Art Business Conference will be in London this coming September 2017.




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