Of course no one would deny that the traditional brick-and-mortar art galleries have their advantages – particularly when you want to go to view or enjoy art as an event – but it seems that recently the pros of internet galleries, for busy people who want to buy art but lack the time needed to spend hours at exhibitions, have been becoming more obvious. According to ArtInfo.com, Allan Majotra, co-founder and managing director of PicassoMio which owns both physical and virtual galleries, even says that established buyers have begun to shift from buying in person to buying on the web.
There are, of course, a number of reasons for this. Partly the phenomenan is due to the increased ease online galleries afford those who do not live in or near centres of art – after all, it’s much easier to surf the web than to take a flight to New York.
But this is not the only factor at work here, for dealers say that even collectors who do live in major art centres have begun showing interest in buying online. Why is this?
Well, it’s partly that the internet is simply a more efficient, more relaxed way to view art. Rather than travelling to an exhibition or dressing up for a reception (fun though this can be), you sit back, relax, and scroll through the virtual walls in the comfort of your own home. Of course, this won’t cut it if what you want is to make an event out of the viewing, or if you enjoy and intend to take time out for it, but if you’re pushed for time but don’t want to compromise your ability to view many works of art, this is an excellent solution.
The walls themselves are another issue – unlike physical galleries, which are necessarily limited in space, an online gallery can show a theoretically infinite number of works of art – helped by handy search options which make it easier for consumers to narrow down what they way. Agora Gallery director Angela Di Bello, who also works with online gallery Art-Mine points out that for collectors with interest but little time, the internet can be a godsend, allowing them to view hundreds of works of art in minutes. It’s also a help to new artists, who are more likely to be able to exhibit their art in an online gallery than in a physical one due to the difference in space, allowing them to start building a profile and reputation.
In addition, for first-time buyers, surfing the web is far more comfortable than walking into a gallery without being sure of the protocol there, something that might even mean that online galleries increase the number of people out there likely to buy art and start collecting.
So, for both artists and collectors, the message is clear: Give the internet a chance!