Millennials and Gen Z are the most discussed generations currently, and for good reason: what they do and how they react to the world around them is dictating the direction of not only the art dealers within the landscape but also, by extension, the world.
As Millennials and Generation Z come into their own, the goal is to challenge and then change the way art is seen, purchased and collected. During my time helping launch my company’s foundation for art dealers, which has a vision to incorporate new ideas of younger generations, I have come to understand that younger art buyers work at a different vibration point. What we strive to do is meet them where they are and find a way to forge a new base at which to expand and grow together.
Art often imitates art, and the same can go for artists as well. Pablo Picasso was one of the most accomplished and enigmatic artists of his era, a living icon during his day that challenged the status quo unlike many before or even after him. Picasso was inspired by many during his time and before it, including the French writer Alfred Jarry, who often had people challenging his ideals. Similarly, Picasso had many admirers who questioned the aesthetics of his paintings and theories. Picasso thought that art, by definition, has no right or wrong and that we all have the power to define its meaning and interpretation as we see fit.
Just as Picasso challenged the system at the time, so too can younger generations when it comes to the future of art and art dealership and creating a positive, inclusive movement. As we venture into new unchartered territory, here are some trends I’ve observed and takeaways that are key to transforming the industry.
Today’s new creators are driving change in the world of traditional art trading.
Millennials and Gen Z are the most discussed generations currently, and for good reason: what they do and how they react to the world around them is dictating the direction of not only the art dealers within the landscape but also, by extension, the world. As such, it is up to us all to be able to meet them at the precipice and instill our knowledge with their fresh perspectives that will surely lead to an overhaul of the current blueprint. Both generations are known for questioning what is considered the norm and are inclined to reject classic tropes that they deem mundane and outdated. Because of social media, these two groups are more empowered than previous generations, and as creators, they are using these exciting new technological tools to leave their own inimitable stamp on art dealers. Their legacy has yet to be realized, but what we know now is that their approach is unique and never before seen.
Young creators have more access to assets than former generations of the same age.
What social media has shown over the past few years is that today’s younger generations are not only more inclined to upper-class tastes, but they also have more access to it as well. Art galleries today have devised ways in which to usher them into the fold alongside their older patrons. Another significant difference between older generations and younger ones is how much access they have to fine art compared to their parents and grandparents. Being more educated and worldly than their predecessors, young creators these days have had to develop new ways in which to get their projects through the door. These new creators have resolved to implement cross-functional positions that have led to the disruption of the traditional career path toward management and a hassle-free entrance into the upper-class levels where some of the best art can be viewed and ultimately acquired.
Newer entrants interacting with art dealers stress the importance of content authenticity.
Now more than ever before, authentic content is being thoroughly vetted and curated by those who are new to the world of art, and I have learned that younger generations are quick to lose interest if they cannot fully embrace or trust in the creator attached to the product. Passion, insight and originality are just three of the important components that are assessed by those who collect art, and their influence in the future will only be elevated as creators connect more with their audiences through social media networks and virtual forms of interaction.
Creators now must give patrons a reason to believe in their content and be willing to put in the work to assure them of the authenticity of their creations. What the art industry hopes to achieve in present times is to enact a blueprint that rectifies the flaws of the past and reconstruct them for a future that utilizes the talents and demands of the future for success for all avenues of art dealership.