Monday, October 28, 2013

Digital Art Gets Monotized

This (from Forbes) is the first I have ever heard of a digital art auction described thus:
"Earlier this month, Phillips, a prestigious art auction house, partnered with Tumblr, one of the largest repositories of freely-shared GIFs, to showcase GIFs, webcam selfies, video game screenshots and other experiments in screen-based pieces and physical objects derived from digital tools."
The article continues...
"Though digital art is shared, liked, retweeted and embedded free-of-charge all over the web, the 20 pieces Lindsay Howard selected for this exhibition demonstrate a new level of comfort with bringing digital art offline and traditional media online. And, unlike the digital art shared and spread online, these pieces pulled in prices of $800 to $16,000 each."
I also found some interesting commentary on the show here:
Steven Sacks, the owner of bitforms gallery in Chelsea, said that while he thought the auction was a wild success for artists that weren’t well-known, “financially, it’s more difficult to say.” Nine of the 20 lots sold for less than their estimated bids, and four of those were bought-in by the auction house. “Obviously, the numbers weren’t through the roof,” Sacks said. But Phillips was extraordinarily happy with the auction, its head of sale, Megan Newcome, told me. And by its metrics, that’s not just PR. “We were very clear-eyed about this: no matter what the results are, if we’re able to bring these artists to a mainstream audience, then the auction is a success,” she said. About this there is near unanimous agreement. “This auction was great for opening up people to digital art,” art consultant and collector Myriam Vanneschi told me. (Full disclosure: Vanneschi once bought a digital portfolio from AFC.) “For the collectors that I work with... it takes me a lot to even get them to consider digital art. Because the auction took place at Phillips, a big name and brand in the art world, it gives them some sense of assurance.”

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