Art Market Analysis – Video Art

Art Market Analysis – Video Art

With the onset of the digital age, artists have been given the opportunity to experiment with different medium as a platform to create their art. Video art has been around since the late 60’s but has only recently become a recognised and popular form of fine art. Before viewing video art is important to understand a bit about its purpose and its defining characteristics so that you can understand and appreciate this exciting artistic medium. Video art draws from diverse art media as well as from communication and information theory which has resulted in a huge variety of works that reflect the expressive and dynamic nature of the medium. Having emerged as an artistic medium during the age of the video tape, video art has experienced a rapid evolution in a short period of time and has succesfully adapted and responded to the increased access of artists to state-of-the-art digital technologies.

gladwell3.jpgOne of the main differences between video art and theatrical cinema is that video art does not rely on many of the conventions that theatrical cinema does such as a plot, storyline, actors or the use of sound. The main purpose of Video art differs from that of theatrical cinema in that it is not created to entertain but for reasons such as to challenge the boundaries of the media, challenge our perceptions of conventional cinema and to invoke emotions through the use of visual stimuli.

Another major distinguishing feature of video art is that it often doesn’t have a beginning or an end which means that the video is on constant loop and the viewer can start watching the video from any point without missing anything. Because of the essential eclecticism of video art it is almost impossible to provide a concrete definition and a set of guidelines so it is therefore most important to see video art for yourself so that you can experience the features and distinguishing charachteristics.

The market for video art is young but there is plenty of interest in video art and the market will continue to grow as interest grows. The recent success of artists such as Shaun Gladwell, whose digital video Storm Sequence (still from video pictured above) has been identified as one of the most oustanding works of this years Venice Biennale, has given further credibility to the digital video medium. Gladwell’s Storm Sequence will be auctioned by Sothebys in Australia on August the 27th and is estimated to fetch between AUS$70,000 and AUS$90,000. Because the market for video art is in its infancy it is unlikely that video art will be widely recognised as a viable investment in the near future but the signs are good for the long term and I would definitely recommend that you have at least one piece of video art in your collection just because of the potential for the future.

Nick**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

10 Responses

  1. I agree with where video art is heading. Check out some of the cool stuff a group called Short Friday’s is doing.

  2. Pam,
    Thanks for the comment, the link you posted doesn’t work though, the correct url is (no s)

    Nick Forrest

  3. I heard that there will be a handful of videos on the auction block in the fall contemporary sale at Christie’s.

    Video arts big day is coming.

  4. Hi Lee,
    Thanks for the comment. Video art is going to be HUGE as soon as the market gets over its phobia of digital artworks which it is beginning to do. I would recommend that everyone have a piece of video art in their collection.

    Nicholas Forrest

  5. Hi,
    i hope there will eventually be a market for video art..
    even though its been happening since as you pointed out since the late 1960’s….
    I have just finished my Masters, and my main body of work was video art.
    i have never sold one piece, but i continue to create because its not about money, being a Video Artist similar to Performance Art is a Vocation more so than any other art form.

    check out this Video piece i made which deals with this very issue in your article.

  6. I agree that video art is relatively slow to be taken up by collectors, judging by the prevalence of it at Basel this year and then the relative lack at Frieze, I wonder if it’s proving a risky option for galleries as we enter a recession.

  7. Hi Alex,

    I think that video art definitely represents a more risky option for galleries especially considering the relative lack of artist’s producing video art that could be considered established enough to inspire enough confidence in the current market climate. At the same time, however, any lull in the interest in video art is sure to be short term which may leave those willing to take the risk with a good choice of work at a more affordable price point.


  8. There didn’t seem to be a great deal of video art at ABMB and the Photo Fair was pretty quiet too (I mention that as another example of a relatively new medium for art) – agreed, those willing to take the risk could get some nice pieces (I personally like John Gerrard’s Oil Stick Work – but it’s going to be a struggle to even find any at the moment!


  9. Hi dear
    thanks for the post. really nice post.


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