Remember the good old days? Back then, a studio visit involved visiting an actual studio—likely a slightly cramped, charming space, with the tang of turpentine hanging in the air. That sort of face-to-face meetup with an artist had its own particular rituals, routines, and expectations. Now, the rules of the studio visit have been swiftly and completely rewritten by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is one of the art market’s most uncomfortable truths that, although black and minority artists are enjoying greater representation, it remains white people who predominantly sell—and buy—their work. But as the Movement for Black Lives reaches fever pitch in the US, the art trade is being asked to confront racial inequality among its ranks.
In recent years, collecting design has transformed from being considered a purely functional purchase to becoming seen as a worthy journey for the most discerning collectors to embark on. For many, collectible design offers the opportunity to express one’s personality and interests through the display of physical objects within the home.
There isn’t a business worldwide that hasn’t felt the virus’s impact, and the art world has been far from immune. The art industry that has become synonymous with hyper-connectedness and global mobility is now at a standstill. The glitzy fairs and crowded shows are history, replaced with Zoom studio tours and virtual exhibitions. Andrew Dickson reflects if this might actually mark an improvement.