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Art collecting and social networks

LLarry’s Lis, one of the leading publishing companies specialising in art collection, published a study last January entitled “The Art Collector Instagram Attention Report”, in collaboration with the leading company in the provision of social data and trends related to the art market, NAMAC.

In a society where being connected looks like something essential and the use of platforms such as Instagram, Twitter or TikTok is more and more weighting in the working sector too, how much relevance can result from being able to value the attention that an artist is receiving from influent people and institutions in the global contemporary art market world? How to enhance art?

How to get noticed in the art world?

The survey provides valuable information, becoming a tool to monitor and predict price changes of a given work or the total performance of different artists active on social media.

As the consideration from respectable individuals or institutions reduces the insecurity on the technical quality of every single artist, traducing itself then in higher costs, attention indices can be able of supporting decisions of the actors involved in the trading. On one side, collectors can follow their favourite artists and comprehend how much consideration they receive in order to realize an estimate about the future trend of the value of the market, on the other side, investors can identify those that, without any doubt, will have a price increase. In addition, galleries and auction houses could use attention indices as a monitoring tool for their marketing plan.

How to promote art on Instagram?

Here are the main findings of this research which decided to consider the analysis of 100 Instagram accounts of artists born after 1970 and still alive. All the profiles subject to the study are included in the daytime and/or the evening sells of at least one major auction house and have a minimum of 15.000 followers. In particular, 40% are women, and 60% are men.

In the first place there is Rashid Johnson (Chicago, 1977), an American painter with a profile that, at the moment of the publification of the report, estimated more than 82.000 followers. The profile has grown to almost 10,000 more followers in just over two months.

According to the published metrics, Johnson received more than 30% more interest than Robert Nava (East Chicago, 1985), who had 246 interactions.

How to grow on Instagram as an artist?

The data also explain the correlation between increased consideration by some art collectors and market demand, resulting in an actual price increase even on a secondary sales floor. The value of Johnson's paintings at auction has multiplied steadily along with the quality of interaction he has received from Contemporary art collectors via his Instagram channel.

With his 322 points, the American artist captured the appreciation of 107 different art collectors, receiving social engagement from around 10% of the world. Although no contemporary art collector liked all 21 posts published during the last year, some interacted with him almost every month.

However, to better understand this research, one has to consider further equally relevant data: 27.8% of the analysed art collectors' accounts are American, and most of the art market today is based in America. This can be seen in the greater popularity of American artists, as well as a more established policy of supporting both emerging and established artists. In other words, the art market in the US is mature and expansive, dominating Europe and Asia.

How to get known in the world of painting?

Secondly, all artists on the report's list deal with painting, only KAWS extends its practice to sculpture. Explanations could be different; Instagram is more suitable for presenting paintings, but art collectors on Instagram might prefer paintings anyway, thus becoming a matter of market demand. Finally, most of the first global attention receivers have more than 50,000 followers, showing a preference for already well-known artists, as indicated by a relatively higher level of celebrity as measured by the number of followers on the platform. However, this does not imply that those with a higher number of followers receive the most attention, as KAWS, while surpassing all others on the list of millions in terms of number of followers, only ranks number eight in the ranking.

How to gain notoriety on Instagram and all social networks?

In conclusion, this research may prove to be a good tool to understand the importance of following social platforms today and the relationship between them and art collecting. Indeed, galleries could use the data from the observation of contemporary art and social networks to research rising artists and understand when to increase an artist's price according to their growing reputation. On the other hand, auction houses can use the same information to optimally advise consignors on the timing of a sale or for their own business activities. Contrary to what one might think, Instagram or Twitter have now become technical gimmicks used by any actor in the art system and Contemporary art collectors and not just a simple pastime.

Source: The Art Collector Instagram Attention Report by Larry’s List e NAMAC

- Erica Massaccesi


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