The art of selling art
Taking account of the sales at art galleries, the volume of the market of modern Russian art was first assessed in 2017. According to the InArt project, the volume of the market in 2018 was EUR 22.41 million with paintings being in most demand, and photography and graphic art, respectively, claiming second and third places in terms of popularity. It is estimated that up to 80% of cultural items are exported/imported illegally, with the annual turnover of art surpassing USD 200 million. In the West, an artist is not only a creator, but also a seller. The well-established European art business builds customer preferences, and dictates how works of art are traded and their actual value is appraised.
What about Russia? Has an art market essentially developed in St Petersburg? Are there any recipes for commercial success for the art gallery business? How does one reconcile the muse and business instinct? What legislative measures can encourage the interest of investors in art objects? How does the market’s growing transparency affect competition between art dealers? The leading experts in St Petersburg art market discussed these and other issues at a conference at Arts Square Gallery on 19 February.
Aleksei Gribanov, Head of the Intellectual Property and TMT Practice at Borenius Russia, and Elena Bedareva, Counsel in the same Practice, shared their most valuable recommendations on how contractual relationships should be formalised between art galleries and artists. They also discussed recent developments in Russian legislation, in particular amendments to the legal provisions regarding an artist’s resale royalty right when original items of fine art are resold.