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The Art Market

Updated on July 16, 2012
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The Development of the Art Market


What are the factors, specific to the art market, that determine whether a territory or city becomes a successful art market centre? Illustrate your answer with an actual example.

Art markets develop due to a number of factors. The two critical ones are economic growth and quality of art works often as based on public opinion or observations. When the economy of a place grows, definitely people get more that they can spend. When people earn, often their primary focus is on basic needs. Once basic needs are done with, secondary needs which are more of developmental and security based come in. Once developmental needs and security needs are no longer an issue, tertiary needs which can also be referred to as luxury or aesthetic needs become the issue. Therefore, luxury only becomes relevant where people’s income allows for extra-spending without jeopardizing basic comforts. Therefore, when the economy grows considerably and people are earning enough, luxury centers develop and people begin to seek alternative investment opportunities. The art market often is the most attractive alternative investment

Apart form the economic concern, an emerging market actually becomes an art market leader when it becomes the most favorable selling and buying point of art items. A countries economy plays an increasing role in a country becoming a favorable art market destination due to aforementioned reasons. However, more crucially, the people of a country’s interest in art matters. Interest in art and aesthetics leads to deliberate efforts to collect, create and improve on works of art.

It has been observed that in the world of today, the world is more of a global village. Technology has facilitated that one can visit the two poles within a single day, basically go around the earth. The internet has also led to e-marketing and art is not left behind as many art items are being advertised on the internet. Art lovers can now access art items from any part of the globe. It is not surprising that art lovers from the western countries can now be seen in china or India and or Africa scavenging for art items. China, India and Russia are the current big art markets when regions are considered.

It should be noted that china is an emerging super power. Their economy is growing tremendously, a fact that favors growth in the art market as an alternative investment. India is also not left behind economically. Although it still boasts of poverty echelons within its borders, its economy is generally strong and growing.

Indian and Chinese cultures are art based. From gods to performed arts, India and china have exemplary art to offer to the world. African also has a lot to offer but due to economic constraints, the African art market thrives more as a black market from where art items are bought clandestinely or fraudulently.

Chinese, Indian and polish arts are doing very well at art auctions. There are also deliberate actions taken by the mentioned towards growing the art market. These efforts are buoyed by the good economy and the good returns that art brings in. there are newly created elites who are taking to collecting art items locally and when international ones come into the fray, the art markets in those regions soar day after another.

Art has developed and become pronounced in Middle Eastern countries due to oppressive Islamic rulers. Denied the opportunity and freedom of self expression, art becomes the voice of the majority. Art has actually become the reformist’s tool in some countries. Through art, they are able to explore issues that would otherwise carry heavy penalties if openly criticized or pointed out. Such tools include and are not limited to political freedom, child rights, women issues and tricky religious ordinances. It is from such like environment that creativity has been developed to world mastery levels. There are many renowned artists from Iran for example; there creativity thrives on the oppression or repression in that country.

Another factor that makes the Middle East also an emerging huge art market is the kind or royalty arrangement in the cultures in the region. Princes and princesses riding on royalty and all the economic cum social privileges they are accorded have become heavy collectors. They are loaded with oil money and therefore pay top dollar for the art items they collect. Regions that thrive as Art markets are those that take deliberate efforts to publicize and create awareness about their potential. In all regions with flourishing art markets, there have emerged media or magazines that highlight the markets potential.

Because of the mentioned factors i.e. wealth, availability of artists and efforts at marketing, the middle east is the biggest emerging art market followed by china, India and Russia. Russia, China and India are doing well but the Russian market is more stable followed by the Chinese market then the Indian market. This collates directly with their economic strength, one would argue.

Works Cited

Stallabrass Julian, Art Incorporated: The Story of Contemporary Art, Oxford University Press, USA, 2005


Which among the following has the fastest growing Art Market?

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