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The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Reshaped The Art of Selling Artwork

Since COVID-19 emerged, Tadas Zaicikas has been selling his artworks via online platforms

Written by: James Carnell

Hell hath no fury greater than the economic destruction that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought. Surging job losses, skyrocketing bankruptcy cases, and a looming economic recession, the health crisis has ushered in a tidal wave of troubles around the world. Masses of businesses have been thrown into a tailspin, and among all these, businesses that heavily rely on physical spaces and discretionary spending have been bearing the brunt of the pandemic. That being said, where there’s change, there may be opportunity.

The gallery industry has been hit particularly hard by COVID-19 as we have all lived with virus-curbing restrictions and lockdowns. Art gallery sales dipped by 36-percent on average in the first half of last year. Smaller galleries have been affected the hardest, and these are galleries having a turnover between $250,000 to $300,000.

Almost all galleries had to shut their doors temporarily when the outbreak emerged. While many have already re-opened, the current situation of the pandemic and ongoing social and travel restrictions still disencourage art-lovers to head to art fairs or galleries. The conventional business model of art businesses - displaying and selling art pieces at art galleries or fairs - has lost effectiveness in the current era, but a new way of selling arts has risen as a bright spot.

“Art is not about understanding” is an intriguing quote by a prize-winning artist who has tapped into the digital realm to put his art pieces up for sale. Tadas Zaicikas was born in Lithuania, and since 2013, he has resided and worked in France and Canada. The artist has exhibited his masterpieces in other parts of the world, including the United States, Italy, Austria, France, South Korea, and even Switzerland.

The Lithuania-born artist uses various techniques to create artworks, mixing up materials and applying them in layers, starting with acrylics and ending with oil-based mediums. A majority of his art pieces echo the artist’s ideas of abstractions, and now art-addicts can get their hands on his masterpieces through the internet. The artist has his art collection displayed on an online platform.

“Selling arts digitally has made my business grow exponentially. The time that it takes to trade off artworks through art galleries or fairs can be extremely long, but this is no longer an issue in online business. I started to adopt several techniques to raise my art collector numbers through sales on online art auctions. The pandemic has helped me a lot in increasing my online sales.”, says Tadas Zaicikas.

To make up for decreased sales, like Tadas Zaicikas, many artists have ventured into the business of selling arts online and found great success. Galleries have been significant strides in the virtual space, which has been a lifeline for artists. Total online sales increased from a 10-percent share of business in 2019 to 37-percent in the first half of the following year.

Selling art pieces has gone digital because of the pandemic as artists have made tweaks to their business models by bringing their business online. However, this brings us to the question of whether art galleries or fairs will soon become a relic of the past.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the edtiros or the management of EconoTimes

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