4 min read - Wednsday 1st September 2021
Time to Change a Top-down Industry, Giving Artists Agency by Natascha Ng
From an outsider looking in, the contemporary art market can throw you back to being at school and navigating cliques. The nod of approval from one individual and you’re in. But to many creatives, it remains a mystery as to what that approval requires. This system, in which a few gatekeepers determine who makes It, shapes a ‘Winner Takes All’ market. With 25 artists accounting for nearly 50% of all contemporary auction sales, it is clear to see that this model is unsustainable.
This is what many would term a ‘top-down’ industry, where those with power control and determine the fate of those below them. They can range from curators and collectors to art professionals and advisors, all of whom dictate the desirability and worth of someone’s work. This is contrasted to bottom-up investing, which focuses on the performance and merits of individuals and rewards them accordingly.