Original Source: www.bloomberg.com
By James Tarmy
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How Instagram Is Changing the Art World
As he looked through Instagram at home in Copenhagen, Peter Ibsen noticed paintings by French artist Baptiste Caccia that were bound for an art fair in Brussels.
“I wrote something like ‘very nice’ on the feed, and 10 minutes later his gallery called me,” Ibsen said. Thirty minutes later, he bought the painting.
Instagram, which has amassed 300 million active users since it was started in 2010, is emerging as an important tool for galleries to sell artworks. More collectors are using the photo-sharing app to search for works and make purchases. For artists, Instagram is emerging as a promotional tool.
Facebook and Instagram are considered the two most important social media channels in the art world, according to the 2015 Online Art Trade Report by Hiscox, the London-based fine-art insurers. According to its survey, 69 percent of 519 respondents who have been collecting for less than three years said they use Instagram for art-related purposes.
“In the old days, I would never have found the work” by Caccia, Ibsen says. “I wasn’t in Brussels. I wouldn’t have had the chance to buy it.”
Ibsen said he’s bought as many as 15 artworks through the app in the past three years. He bought the Caccia from Super Dakota, a gallery from which he previously purchased another work by the same artist. Caccia’s works range from €3,000 ($3,370) to €9,000, according to the Brussels gallery.
“It’s not uncommon for us to have people inquire about a work because they saw it on Instagram,” said Damien Bertelle-Rogier, the founder of Super Dakota. “I try to curate our Instagram to represent the spirit of the gallery, and sometimes collectors respond quite well to it.”
Alexander Hertling the co-owner of Balice Hertling, a gallery with branches in Paris and New York, says that his gallery has sold colorful, graphic wall sculptures that range from €9,000 to €40,000 on Instagram.