Technology and Art Collecting: A Whole New World

In a world of art galleries and museums, auctions filled with fancy attire and bubbly champagne, technology is the elephant in the room. The art world is now forced to address questions never before considered. It is not only new collectors who are participating in the new “reality” of art. Galleries as well as artists themselves are beginning to understand the importance of technology, and its impact on the art industry. It’s no longer necessary to peruse galleries to discover new (and established) artists; the digital world has allowed collectors access into locations worldwide in order to discover works of art, from the comfort of their homes.

Let’s discover some of the most far-reaching ways that technology and art collecting have changed:

Social Media

Social Media platforms allow members of the art industry to connect simply and instantly. The traditional path from collector to artist was:

Artist2 → Gallery → Collector

Now, collectors can make connections anywhere in the industry, by a simple search of social media accounts. Artists have taken control of their own careers by utilizing these tools to share their works, building excitement (and engagement) with fans. As soon as a photo of artwork is uploaded online, it is instantaneously available for viewing, following, and sharing. This creates a huge spider web of connections, where there are infinite intersecting points where information and opinions can be shared thanks to the relationship between technology and art.


Reduced Reliance on Galleries

In the past, early exposure for an artist’s work was limited to their gallery exhibitions; they needed an invitation to show their work (often with a group of other emerging artists), and after a few showings, may even be a featured artist in a solo exhibition. It took time to create interest in the work, and even longer to build a network capable of supporting continued sales. Today’s online marketplace allows artists to show their own works without galleries, saving collectors the cost of gallery commissions and frees artists from the control which galleries had in choosing which works (and artists) to exhibit.

Galleries Embrace Technology and Art

Galleries, too, can take advantage of this new, man-made network. By hosting their own website and engaging social media pages, Galleries can advertise their works This allows a gallery the ability to  continue supporting careers of artists they feature, and promote unique events and limited engagements. Additionally, this connection of technology and art allows artists to help galleries by promoting them on their own social media accounts. The growth of social media use by businesses means that audiences can be segmented, allowing galleries to reach specific interests and promote art more efficiently.

Many galleries, even leaders like Sotheby’s and Christie’s, have added online auctions to their brick-and-mortar establishments. Expanding the market of buyers is made easier with online sales, and improved shipping equates to a larger pool of diverse buyers.

Speed of Artist Success

Although rarely instantaneous, emerging artists can speed up the launch of their career with the use of social media. Social media sites and artists’ own websites provide a stage for showcasing new works. Artists can create and manage their own networks without the necessity of engaging a gallery. In fact, Instagram alone can jumpstart a career. Read about artist Dan Lam’s experience here.

Artists can create an online portfolio quickly, picking and choosing which pieces really showcase their ability and the direction of their art. Connecting with other artists online, a network can be created and nurtured by all members. The internet empowers artists to take control of their careers.


Digital Art

It is not surprising that the use of technology be expanded to art in a relatively brief period. The term digital art describes techniques which involve the use of digital technology or electronic systems as an essential part of the artistic process, presentation method or both. Improved computer graphic techniques have not only transformed established art forms, but new artists have been born out of technological advances. This raises a host of questions regarding quality of work: does this mean that anyone can create art, are traditional methods losing support, and how are collections of digital art maintained? The bond between technology and art is strengthened in art’s digital use.

Digital art, although growing in popularity, is still relatively new. Since most creation involves technical inputs and research, this is still considered an industry in its infancy, as technical skills are necessary to utilize these tools. Some common examples of digital art are:

  • Digital photographs
  • Digital prints & illustrations
  • Digital paintings
  • Digital presented art (sequence of digital pieces)

As interest in digital art grows, collectors will need to stay abreast of improvements in equipment and updates in formats. Artists limit the editions to maintain value of their work, and digital art will come with hefty restrictions on reproduction.

Technology Allows Every Day Enthusiasts to Collect Art

For several reasons (including many of the ones listed above), technology has brought art collecting to the masses:

  • Accessibility to thousands of pieces of art;
  • Online information to improve understanding of art;
  • Artists’ social media and websites advertise their stories and works;
  • Explosion of online art sales and auction sites bring artwork to enthusiasts;
  • New mediums of art provide a wealth of choices when starting a collection

No longer do “everyday Joes” sit on the sidelines, content to view quality pieces of art in museums and galleries found in NYC, Chicago, Paris, or other art-filled tourist cities. New and modest collectors are energized to create collections which reflect their individual budget, style, and taste.

It is hoped that the shift in art collecting due to technological improvements will help to solidify market growth in ways not feasible in the past. The use of social media outlets will continue to grow, and online sales (both auction and fixed price) facilitates an increase of acquisition worldwide. It is likely that artists will continue to take control of their careers, empowered to choose the relationships they wish to foster. Digital art techniques will change the face of art, and may even be combined with traditional methods to challenge established boundaries of expression; and art professionals will excel when they master the use of the growing networks which they nurture.

Sybaris Collection not only attends art events worldwide, collecting unique and amazing pieces, but has developed a large network of professionals within the art industry. Our free art advisory service can help determine what you are looking for, shop on your behalf, or share with you some pieces we have discovered. For those with a more discriminating taste, our private ARTclub provides you with exclusive pieces offered only to members.