The year 2024 is likely to see a further shift towards digitisation in the art fair world. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this digitisation, and by now we can be pretty sure that online art fairs will be here to stay are. By organising art fairs not only physically but also online at the same time, art lovers from all over the world can browse around fairs without having to be physically present. The ability to view and buy artworks online will further democratise the art market and cement the central role that art fairs play within it.
Sustainability will become a central theme for art fairs and also for the art market itself in 2024. Artists are increasingly opting for eco-friendly materials and production methods. This reflects a growing awareness within the art community about the impact of art on the environment. Moreover, themes such as climate change and environmental preservation are increasingly the subject of the artworks of the new generation of artists. Art fairs, in addition to making their own organisation more sustainable, will also increasingly implement sustainability criteria when selecting participating galleries, artists and works, in order to further reduce and account for their own footprint.
The call for more diversity and inclusiveness is louder than ever before, and this call naturally resonates in the art world as well. Artists, collectors and the wider public are calling for greater representation of groups that have hitherto remained underrepresented in the art world. Artists from different ethnic backgrounds, gender identities and cultures need to be made more visible and their valuable contributions to artistic dialogue recognised. This will lead to a more representative and inclusive art market, with art fairs acting as catalysts for positive change. Moreover, art fairs are likely to develop initiatives to support artists from underrepresented communities and promote their art, creating a more diverse and rich artistic landscape for collectors and art lovers.
By 2024, art and technology will be even more closely intertwined. Artists will increasingly use digital tools and technologies such as AI and VR to realise their creative vision. And art fairs will also increasingly embrace technology to increase their reach and impact. For instance, art fairs will experiment with VR to present artworks in innovative ways. AI will also be increasingly embraced to enhance the fair experience. Visitors can use AI-powered apps to identify artworks and obtain relevant information. Moreover, organisers can use AI to analyse fair data, such as trends in art purchases and visitor behaviour, enabling them to better plan and tailor the fair to the needs of attendees. State-of-the-art visitor registration software such as Eventpartners' provides a solid basis for this.
Despite economic challenges such as high inflation and ongoing global problems, art will remain an attractive investment in 2024 and with it, art fairs will remain firmly in the saddle as the place to go to meet this investment need. As many as 59% of High Net Worth Individuals (people with investable assets of at least $30 million) would like to make an art purchase in that year, according to the 2023 Wealth Report. This will not diminish in the coming year, as Hign Net Worth collectors show optimism about the performance of the art market in the next six months in several surveys. Countries like China, Japan, Brazil and Italy are also showing increased interest in art purchases. And this is understandable, as the art market has historically delivered solid returns. So art fairs are sure to attract new investors in the coming year by highlighting the potential of art as an alternative asset class, especially in a volatile financial market.
In this time of rapid change, it is crucial for art fairs to adapt to the evolving needs and expectations of artists, collectors and the public. The trends mentioned above will undoubtedly shape and reshape art fairs in the coming years. It is up to organisers, gallery owners and artists to embrace these opportunities and make the art fairs of 2024 an inspiring experience.
Sources: Artland Magazine, Volta Art Fairs, and Artsy.
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