Art fairs aren’t cheap! Art fairs are the most expensive of an art world (and therefore, global art market) that’s jostling for more than $20 billion a year, compared to 2014 figures of $14.4 billion. The U.S. collectors and auction house executives I spoke with told me that they would look carefully at the purchases at art fairs. With that in mind, they feel the smart play would be to check out sales before the fair starts, and check again on the opening day of the fair, when buyers are likely to be the most active.
Speaking of fairs…
A new online initiative lets any self-identified art lover make a one-minute video explaining why they love art and what they want to see at the forthcoming fair, set to take place in New York March 14 to 16.
Created by 55 Content, the video destination from the Union Square Ventures-backed startup 55 Labs, the studio’s first ever video focus is on art fairs.
55 Content founder and CTO Tomas Dyak, said the initiative is meant to be an attempt to engage art fans as more buyers connect digitally and, in the case of fairs, become particularly savvy at finding deals.
“It’s about figuring out how to engage art lovers digitally. We’re all aware of the way people use Instagram to indulge in their daily consumption of food, travel and culture,” Dyak said. “But the number of people saying ‘I love art’ or ‘I love art’ is very low compared to the total number of people. That number may be more accessible if you know how to engage and explain it, you understand what people get off on and know how to do that online. It’s about unifying both these groups of people who are interested in art, and helping them connect digitally.”
55 Content president S. Dean Puzey said that the video window will be around six weeks or so.
In an increasingly competitive market, the 53 million viewers that watched the launch video of 55 Content’s video product in 2017 offers an opportunity to offer fresh, unique perspectives.
They have told us that they like video content and it’s a comfortable format for them. So this is something that we’re going to continue to do, we’ll bring on more content creators and more platforms who will bring on different perspectives or topics.
Puzey also said the videos will potentially have a marketing element, and will be used to help market New York fairs as a whole, though he wouldn’t say how big a push the company plans to make.
55 Content’s videos will be available online and, through TLC partners and their platforms, in connected devices such as smart TVs and streaming media players. The company also plans to work with the Art of Pop to provide an official version of its video on the Art of Pop channel.
55 Content has also created a channel, 55NOW, for upcoming media industries to co-brand with, highlight unique stories to and feature art fair stories, Dyak said.
So far, the company has done a video series with the investment giant Legg Mason about inventors, one on studio art shows, and a documentary on premium streaming brands like Netflix.
“The programming aspect of 55’s mission makes it a good fit with our other channels,” Puzey said. “We’re using all three to accomplish different goals.”
55Digital is also looking to launch its social media app to encourage new art consumption, and is about to announce new partnerships with apps like Snapchat and Instagram.