A brave new art world — Part 1: delivering resale royalties for artists

Reserved Rights Transfer and Sale Agreement, 1971.jpg via Wikipedia
Screenshot of Simon de la Rouviere’s The Artwork Is Always on Sale V2 (2020), via Artnet
Wendy Mayer Lachrymatory I + II, Charlie Smith, London
Sydney Contemporary Art Fair. Photo Dan Boud
  1. *Art Basel UBS The Art Market 2022 (generally considered the bible for art market data)
  2. **Secondary market sales are a re-sale of a work by the owner. For example auction market sales. As opposed to Primary market sales, which is the first time an artwork is sold into the market, often by a gallery or directly by the artist or artist platform.
  3. *** What are some of those incentives? Secure provenance can provide: higher resale valuations, lower insurance costs, directly support artists, easy collections management…
  4. ****The numbers are significant. Of a US$65bn market in 2021, roughly 50% were secondary market sales. None of that money went to artists. A 5% resale royalty, for example, would have returned over $1 billion into the hands of artists (or their estates). If you are a contemporary living artist, a little goes a long way to supporting your practice. Let’s leave the trope of the starving artist in the garret behind and respect the right of artists to be professional and earn a sustainable living from their work.

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Paul Becker

Paul Becker

Art entrepreneur, passionate about culture change, making art more accessible & building a sustainable creative economy. Australian Founder & CEO of Art Money.