Despite COVID-19, the collectors we surveyed continued to be passionate about art and acquiring new pieces: 52.83% were likely or very likely to buy art this year, while 25.64% were neither likely nor unlikely. A further 66.8% of respondents confirmed that they were interested in growing their collection in the next 12 months, with Banksy, The Connor Brothers, Harland Miller, and Keith Haring among the most sought-after names. Others were open to exploring new, up-and-coming artists, while some were eager to explore potential return on investment before committing.
Our survey revealed a strong preference for certain genres: of the collectors surveyed, 66.5% are interested in street art, closely followed by pop art (61.42%) and photography (53%). Abstract art also has a strong following, with 45% of collectors interested in the genre.
COVID-19 has pushed the art world—and other luxury industries—to embrace digital platforms, as physical events, exhibitions, and fairs have faced temporary closure. Collectors have adapted in response to this shift: 18.59% are ‘extremely comfortable’ buying online, while 42.21% are comfortable, but prefer to speak to an art advisor first. Despite this, in-person transactions remain important, with 39.2% preferring to buy in person or over the phone.
When looking for new artists, collectors are using a wide range of channels—though visiting galleries remains the most popular route to discovering new talent, with 53.77% citing this as one of their go-to strategies. Other popular approaches were speaking to an art consultant (53.27%), visiting gallery websites (54.77%) and exploring social media (39.20%).
Though collectors decide to buy for a variety of reasons, some carry more weight than others. For the vast majority (77.4%), an artwork’s investment potential is one of the most important considerations when making a purchase, with aesthetic factors, including the colour, design and subject closely following at 70.26%.
Of those surveyed, 19.67% of said that their collection featured one or more works by Banksy—further indicating the enduring popularity of the elusive artist, who used lockdown in the UK to create headline-grabbing original works including a bathroom overrun by rats, and, more recently, a ship which rescues migrants at sea. Other popular artists were Harland Miller, whose works had been purchased by 11.07% of collectors, and Damien Hirst, featured in 7.38% of collections.
Interested in discovering new artists, or taking your collection to the next level? Maddox Art Advisory offers insight into selecting and investing in art.