Tag Archives: Art sales

Introducing the High Sale Potential of Digital Art

Addie Wagenknecht’s ‘Asymmetric Love Number 2’ is in good company with Jeff Koons and Chuck Close as Lindsay Howard and the Paddles ON! crew gets a ‘le shout-out’ in this month’s Vanity Fair France! Digital art is captivating, provocative and out of the ordinary, but is it profitable? Even though some people are eager to spend millions of dollars to acquire fine art pieces from auction houses,

it is hard to imagine spending this kind of money and walking away with only a GIF or JPEG file. Nevertheless, demand for digital art continues to grow and even though it has a long ways to go before it reaches the steep price tags seen in the contemporary art marketplace, Phillips auction house recently proved that people are willing to pay big bucks for digital works of art.

Phillips art auction house, in partnership with blogging platform Tumblr and online art auction house Paddle8, recently put on an event called, “Paddles ON! The world’s first major commercial auction of work by digital artists.” On the Tumblr site, Paddles ON! is described as an exhibition and auction that brings together artists who are using digital technologies to establish the next generation of contemporary art.

The auction was a success. It drew a large audience and brought in nearly one-hundred thousand dollars in sales. According to an article in Complex Art+Design, some of the high sellers included:

  • $16,000 – Aymmetric Love Number 2, an angular chandelier made of security cameras
  • $15,000 – Pixel, a wall sculpture
  • $11,000 – Americans!, a software-drive animation

Seeing the profitable nature of digital art was not only exciting for the sellers. For Phillips auction house and others involved with Paddles ON!, it marked a defining moment in the evolution of contemporary art. Auction curator Lindsay Howard says, “For 20 years it’s been universities and non-profit organizations that have been the primary support system for digital art.” With great enthusiasm and high earnings, it is believed that the for-profit auction may be another place where digital artists can go to display and sell their work.

It looks like a new day is dawning for digital artists, as well as Phillips auction house. Phillips, which was founded by Harry Phillips who once served as senior clerk to James Christie of Christie’s auction house, is well positioned to dominate the digital art market. Being smaller than Christie’s and Sotheby’s allows Phillips to take on the risk of selling digital art. From the success of this first auction, it seems hosting digital artwork could come with great reward.

The future of digital art sales is uncertain but Phillips and Tumblr will continue to paddle on. The art auction goes to London next.

Read more Segmation blog posts about digital art

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The Graffiti Artist and Street Vendor

The Graffiti Artist Street VendorThe streets of New York City are littered with street artists. Those who succeed at this trade often combine unique artistic ability with marketing efforts. Beyond taking time to create numerous works, they have to sell them too. This is not always easy. In fact, it is downright hard, even for a world famous artist.

Banksy is a world famous graffiti artist.

While Banksy is not his birth name, art featuring this “tag” can be found decorating cities throughout the world. Beyond this talent, Banksy uses film and traditional canvas paintings to advance his position as a political activist. His satirical style, stenciling technique, and creativity lead to priceless masterpieces.

Of course “priceless” is an exaggeration. His work sells quite well, considering those who purchase it usually have to assume responsibility for cleaning it off the walls of city property. Yet the sliding scale of his work is drastic. A piece that sells for $249,000 in one venue may only sell for $60 in another.

Banksy’s Street Vendor Experiment

This was the case when Banksy arranged for an anonymous sidewalk art booth be erected in New York City’s Central Park. A piece titled, “Love is in the Air,” was on the table, listed at $60. This summer, a limited edition of the same work sold in auction for a quarter of a million dollars.

Banksy hired a man to sit in front of the booth and sell art work. He recorded the day’s happenings and created a two and a half minute Youtube video. Throughout the course of the day, only $420 was earned.

Regardless of sitting in front of a sign that read, “Spray Art,” (which was painted in Banksy’s signature stencil print) no one knew the vendor was selling original artwork signed by Banksy.

The Value of Art

What can be gained from the experiment in Central Park? Nothing, according to Banksy. He does not admit any motivation behind this stint. Instead, he describes the act with the following statement:

“I know street art can feel increasingly like the marketing wing of an art career, so I wanted to make some art without the price tag attached. There’s no gallery show or book or film. It’s pointless. Which hopefully means something.”

But this display was not pointless. It says something about the value of art. More so, it reinforces the saying, “you better shop around.” A few lucky people got one heck of a deal that day.

Image found on Opticalspy.com http://www.opticalspy.com/high-speed-photography-gallery.html.

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