New Citi GPS Report Looks at Factors That Have Helped the Global Art Market Transform through the COVID-19 Pandemic

The rise of a new art medium – non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are providing a new way to consume art and collectibles and disrupting traditional art ownership model through a kind of democratization

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Citi today released a new follow-up Citi Global Perspectives & Solutions (Citi GPS) report that takes another look at how the art industry continues to transform and adapt throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Global Art Market Disruption covers how the shift to digital has given a wider range of people access to the art world than ever before, leading to a stronger focus on diverse artists and genres, and on artists who work outside mainstream platforms. A key driver of this evolution is the rise of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs.

“We went from NFTs being nearly non-existent at auction in 2020, to this new market generating sales of almost $25 billion in 2021 and posting an additional $7.4 billion in January 2022 alone,” said Suzanne Gyorgy, Citi Private Bank’s Global Head of Art Advisory & Finance. “The art market continues to show that even through unprecedented challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, it is an industry that has proven its resilience.”

With the introduction of NFTs in the market, art sales increased drastically, with $2.3 billion of art sold in just a two-week span at the November 2021 auctions. The strength of the art market throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is also reflected in the performance of major art indices. From January 2020 through June 2021, the All Art Index delivered a 28.2% return.

Other important trends for the art world transformation include:

– Rising interest in less established artists and showcasing their work

– Academic institutions and private collectors reshaping the art historical canon, which is now drawing long overdue attention to women, artists of color, and other demographics

– Shifting tastes in collections and the definition of what constitutes art

The report also covers the impact of regulation on the art market and issues surrounding trademark infringement, security regulation, and the potential for fraud and abuse. Additionally, lawmakers around the world have started to implement laws and regulations to minimize the potential for criminal activity in the art market.

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Media contacts:
Gabriel Morales – Citi Private Bank

Susannah Gullette – Citi Research

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