Art Market Blog – How Artists are Attracting Attention

Art Market Blog – How Artists are Attracting Attention

bond_1.jpgWith contemporary artistic practice progressing and evolving at a fever pitched rate combined with the rapidly growing art market that rewards innovation, uniqueness and experimentation, it is becoming harder and harder for artists to stand out from the crowd and get noticed. The art market boom has caused an unprecedented appetite for contemporary art that has resulted in an increase in the number of artists being marketed by galleries and dealers. To compensate for the increased competition for representation and attention, artists are now needing to really think outside the box and come up with ways of attracting as much as attention as possible without affecting their credibility.

My research into this subject was sparked by a press release that I received in my inbox that was announcing the unveiling of a new artwork at a secret location in Beverley Hills in May by an artist who goes by the name of Rophar ( What is so special about this painting that it needs to be unveiled I hear you ask, well, for starters it is adorned with over 250 carats of diamonds including multiple 4,5,6 and 7 carat stones with an accumulated value of $10 million dollars. Oh, and the asking price is US$110,000,000. According to the press release this painting, titled “Menagerie” has been commissioned by a fabulously wealthy countess who prefers to remain anonymous. Mystery, intrigue, wealth, royalty – the perfect ingredients for attracting attention

Artists Anthony White and Marcel Salathe, of the infamous duo Salathe and White (, have also gained attention through an ambitious and unique project that involves auctioning off their collaborative paintings along with a guarantee to buy them back at a specific price, which is indicated on the painting, upon the safe return of said painting during a specified month. According to the artists each painting is a bond or more precisely a zero coupon bond. The first bond painting auctioned off had a face value of US$1063 and sold for US$1286.

All these artists have attracted attention to their work and gained exposure by going above and beyond the traditional expectations of what an artist should be and do. People are receiving so much stimulation from tv, movies, computers, mobile phones, the internet etc. that the act of entertaining ones self by enjoying and appreciating a painting has become somewhat obsolete, especially for the young people of today. In order to be commercially successful many artists are not able to just be artists any more but are having to take on the role of entertainer, promoter and advertiser. Although these artists are providing immediate gratification for the viewer it remains to be seen whether these works retain their desirability and mystique.

Image: Bond 1 by Salathe and White

**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 Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

3 Responses

  1. What an interesting article. I agree, there are more contemporary artists out there these days and with the web, showcasing art has never been easier for artists like me. Whilst I believe the web is not a good vehicle for selling art it is a good marketing tool for drawing the interest of potential buyers towards viewing your art in the gallery or studio where you display. Competition is healthy and prices lower in favour of the buyer. Competition also encourages a highering of standards, whether it be using the latest computer technology or diamond studded canvas and this is where the increase in prices happens and is happening. It is the middle priced art that is suffering from the flood of information about contemporary affordable art available now but there is nothing to fear, real art, excellent art, art in demand, will always hold it’s own price. Demand it’s own price.

  2. I agree with this article, that we need to think outside the box, however, as a publishier of wildlife art the answer lies in awareness of the potential markets. I have been successfully marketing the Artist Sallie Middleton for over three years using the web page, newsletters, specality advertising and actually showing up at the galleries and prospective dealers. I created several marketing programs to show the galleries how to sell art outside the store and the ones who have embraced some of the ideas are experiencing increased sales. The web page only 3 years old has an average of 48,000 hits a month which results in continous new business. Never be afraid of the competition, just advertise what sets you apart from the others. Eventhough my artist and her work has been on the market for 40 years, the customer base is surprisingly split between the baby boomers and the 20-30 age bracket. It’s a great business and I would never try to sell her art adorned with diamonds.

  3. Thanks for the comments Ellen and Rey. Although there are more opportunities than ever for artists to sell their work, those artists that have amazing talent but choose not to conform to the commercial focus of popular culture are unfortunately being left behind. Sad but true…

    Nicholas Forrest

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