Artists have been taking advantage of the internet to sell work for a few years now. Painters can now make enough money on eBay to pay the bills. There’s also a group of artists that have created quite a buzz with the use of blogs to sell their paintings.
But traditional bricks and mortar art galleries are also taking advantage of the internet to promote and sell works by their artists. An exhibition at the Beverly Hills Gagosian gallery by Tom Friedman was sold out before the opening after collectors were shown digital images of the exhibition. Works were sold for up to $500,000 too, so they’re not just the small and cheap works that many artists sell online.
“It’s another sign of the acceleration of the contemporary art market: New works, even in the six-figure range, are selling by digital image alone. For the Friedman show, Gagosian set up a private section on its Web site, accessible only by a password sent via e-mail message to select collectors. More typically, gallery directors send off e-mail messages with JPEGs — a format for digitally storing and transmitting images — to potential clients.” NY Times (requires free registration)