How Online Galleries are Re-Framing the Art World

30 Jan

online art galleryEven within the past five years, the number of online art auctions and galleries has skyrocketed. Some newer galleries report making 60% to 85% of their sales online, while even long-established galleries may make 10% to 35% of their sales through the Internet today. The reasons behind the rise of the online art gallery are many, but one thing’s for sure: It’s not a trend that’s going to fade away anytime soon.

Why Do People Purchase Art Online?
The simple fact is that the online art gallery has become a convenient way for collectors — especially young ones accustomed to the world wide web — to purchase modern and contemporary art. In the old auction house model, you might have to attend a special event in order to see or purchase contemporary glass art from a renowned artist like Karen LaMonte, an American best known for her life-size sculptures of cast glass, bronze, and ceramic and her large-scale monotype prints. Today, you might purchase them with the click of a button.

Why Do Artists Sell Art Online?
The Internet also provides opportunity for lesser-known artists to display their work outside of the mainstream art gallery complex. A small online art gallery can have as much clout as a major auction house like Christie’s, without the additional expense of traveling and promotion associated with the inner art circle.

Why Do Galleries Use Online Auctions?
While there will always be a time and a place for traditional, in-person gallery shows, the digital world has provided a means for galleries to connect artists and collectors in a more direct and desirable way. Some newer galleries admit that they might not recognize some of their most prominent collectors if they walked in through the door because so much of their communication happens over the Internet.

Like it or not, the online art gallery has become a staple in the world of collectors, artists, and gallery owners combined. It has helped shape a new, more democratized sector of the art world that allows for previously unimagined possibilities. Storefront galleries will likely never go away, but the possibilities of art have been opened wide thanks to the digital frontier.