The loss of members of the art-рынка. Reports Art Handler / Art Basel & UBS
ARTinvestment.RU   31 марта 2020

Financial problems rank and file employees art-индустрии and forecast the redistribution of the labour market in 2020 — in the material AI

Since the cancellation of the first art-ярмарок and the Declaration of a pandemic coronavirus was not more than two months, and the art market is already facing losses, not only predictable, but also current. While international media report on the loss of big players — sellers of art and academic institutions, they suffer from ordinary employees and their families. American journal of Art Handler first launched a study among employees of the companies art-рынка to find out how he managed to influence them to the quarantine. In the first part of the survey, which will last throughout the year 2020, attended 1 027 employees art-индустрии, including:

  • 19 % represent sellers of art (galleries, private dealers, auction houses, art-консультанты);
  • 14% creating pieces of art (artists, designers, and staff related production);
  • 9 % work in framing and packing companies;
  • 15% are engaged in logistics art (storage, transport, hanging)@the semicolon
  • 14 % represent non-profit organisations (charities and art-центры);
  • 10% work in the education field (colleges, universities, online-обучение);
  • 19 % work in public institutions (museums, libraries and archives).

85% of respondents work in the United States (of these, 38 % — in one new-Йорке), 15% are of international art-рынок. 27% of respondents have a regular salary, 35% work at hourly rates or are free workers (freelancers). Only 3 % of respondents were owners of businesses in the art-индустрии.

Key figures, which showed us a survey of Art Handler:

  • 69% of respondents have difficulty paying the rent;
  • 74 % do not have paid vacation;
  • 64% can't do their job at home.

some of the conclusions of the study concerned the freelancers as the most widespread, but least protected groups of employees art-рынка:

  • 90% of available workers have no paid vacation;
  • 39% of them have already lost 75 % or more of your family's income;
  • 80% are experiencing difficulties with the extension of rent or mortgages, compared to 49 % of employees;
  • 81 % of freelancers are not able to work remotely (i.e. have to rent collective offices or studios. — AI.).

table 1. The main problems of employees art-индустрии


On the payroll, %

Hourly pay, %

Free workers, %

In General, the market, %

do Not have paid vacation





can Not work remotely





In the last two weeks, workers of the art market lost in the form of foregone income:

  • 25% — less than $500;
  • 32% — from $500 to $1.5 тыс.;
  • 31% — from $1,5 thousand to $3 тыс.;
  • 7 % interviewed — from $3 thousand to $5 тыс.;
  • 4% — more than $5 thousand.

table 2. The loss of staff art-индустрии in terms of money in the last 2 weeks

Loss, %


On the payroll, %

Hourly pay, %

Free workers, %

Less than 25












Over 75




what is that data telling you? First of all that foreign freelancers were not prepared for the crisis: not only that their services for the company declined in the first week of quarantine, in addition it turned out that they are not able to work at home (the habit of coworking — a result of not only the aesthetic of the text, but domestic constraints in rented apartments with a large number of noisy tenants per square meter. — AI.). The following candidates for dismissal under the redundancy — employees with paid leave: today, they are sent EN masse to his employers, without any guarantees of return to work. In their place may hold ex-freelancers — lost more than 75 % of income and therefore potentially agree on a fixed, albeit lower earnings.

For a better understanding of these figures, compare them with other — recent report Art Basel & UBS. According to their estimates, in 2019 the global art market employed approximately 311 thousand companies with a total staff of 3 million people (including in the gallery and dealer sector — 297 thousand companies and 2.7 million employees, 62 % women and 56 % — under the age of 40 years). In sum, these companies spent $19.9 billion on external support services directly related to their business, — from insurance and logistics to modern technology. In turn, these costs sellers of art provided 369 thousand jobs in companies that provide external services.

note that this amount — $19.9 billion — were spent on services such as enterprises in the sphere of art-индустрии. In other words, the money has not left the limits of art-рынка supporting its employees financially. In 2020 and the total amount of expenditures and their distribution expect change. Let's try to predict which ones.

table 3. The costs of the companies operating in the art market, on third party services in 2019

Foreign subsidiary of the company

the Expenses of members of the art-рынка in 2019

the change in the proportion of total expenditure in 2020 (forecast AI)


the Number of jobs, units.

the Amount, $ billion

the Proportion of total expenditure, %

Advertising and marketing

65 635




85 580



Storage and restoration

14 040


and 3.8

the Insurance and safety

27 715



logistics (packing and delivery)

40 715




27 380


and 7.4

Professional fees

31 710




36 155




39 930




368 860



primarily to reduce costs (and, as consequence, workplaces) should expect in relation to art-ярмарок and related processes — journeys and work trips. Fairs are cancelled or transferred to a later date — the end of 2020 or the following season. The predictable unwillingness of collectors to travel for the first time after the end of the quarantine (due to both financial and psychological reasons) will a fair online-режим —, respectively, from trips refuse and galleries. The cost of storage and restoration should also be reduced: in times of crisis many collectors prefer to move work closer to you and a possible buyer for quick sales, and restoration is not a priority among their expenses. At the same time may increase the professional fees (commissions and taxes) on certain services. Predicted that the transition to online-продажам will increase the role of logistics: work will not need to drive to the fair, but to deliver to the owner still need. Insurance in the current environment will be in demand: it is possible that finally there will be new policies related to liquidity and pricing in conditions of crisis (in the last 10 years, they were actively developed, but inactive were introduced on the market).

That is expected to rise, so is the technology in the arts — in the first phase of the development in the field of remote exposure, trade, logistics and education. Online-ярмарки, exhibitions using virtual reality technology, payment systems and logistics tracking will be developed and new money allocated for the development, testing and application. Despite the fact that, according to the report international research center of International Data Corporation, rising costs of production world IT-отрасли from-за coronavirus will slow down in 2020 to 4.3 % (projected to the end of 2019, 5 %), the art market is an area for which the development of equivalent technologies not only success, but survival of the individual segments. But the cost sellers on marketing, in our view, should be reduced: in a competitive environment in the crisis the main advantage of is the ease and convenience of technologically advanced product, not the advertising. It is alsoconfirms the reduction in the cost of advertising space Internet-пространстве recorded in the month of February — Mar 2020 referred to in the report of International Data Corporation.

the Consistency of our predictions will appear at the end of 2020, but our readers from the staff of the art-индустрии can contribute to the statistics of today: Art Handler continues to collect information for his report. You can take part in the survey, click on this reference. And in parallel — to continue to think how to protect themselves from risks, repurpose a business or professional skills under the new realities, without worsening working conditions.

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