Gurr Johns: Perspectives sees our specialists share their views, opinions and insights about the art world. In the first of the series, Shea Goli shares her thoughts on the contemporary market during COVID-19 including market trends, NFTs, and the artists on her radar.
What has surprised you most about the contemporary market’s response to the global pandemic?
Fifteen years ago, the pandemic would have been disastrous for the art market so thankfully advances in digital technology have enabled the art world to adapt quickly and move completely online. While Zoom, social media and Clubhouse chats have been helpful, and no doubt long overdue in our industry, they can’t begin to replicate the in real life experience of standing in front of a work of art or chance meetings at an art fair or gallery opening. Even the most impressive online viewing rooms have simply reinforced to our advisory team at Gurr Johns the importance of the non-digital space as a channel for discovering new art and engaging in personal relationships. There is a certain momentum and energy to selling art that cannot be captured digitally.
As a contemporary art advisor, it’s really tricky to work in this context and with so many obstacles; our business is based on relationships and you can’t underestimate the value that clients place on our specialist insights and access. That said, while restrictions have been challenging, they have also highlighted the need for change. The push to digital in a mostly antiquated business has provided new and exciting opportunities for artists and new collectors, as well as showing us that we can all afford to slow down when it comes to travel and art fairs!