Art market sees boom during pandemic lockdown
Poland’s art market is thriving as collectors turn to online auctions that enable them to buy works of art while social distancing due to the coronavirus.
So far this year there has been 72 auctions, compared to 69 over the same period in 2019, and already, 3,740 works of art have been sold, an increase of 12% since last year.
Since the coronavirus reached Poland, collectors have been purchasing works of art at a range of price-points.
Rafał Kamecki, CEO of art market website artinfo.pl said: “This is not an ‘escape into works of art’ – that would be happening if sales of works with the highest market prices had intensified.
“Collectors are eager to buy objects from various areas of the art market – from works exhibited at young art auctions, where the starting price is PLN 500, through mid-range objects, up to masterpieces.”
One of the big-ticket works of art sold at an auction since the start of the lockdown is an oil painting by Polish artist Jacek Malczewski (1854-1929) entitled “Artysta i chimera” (The artist and the chimera).
Completed in 1906, it shows an artist lying on his back with a winged mythical creature – part-human, part-beast, on top of him.
On 22 March, the painting was sold by the Agra-Art auction house in Warsaw for a record 3.1 million złoty (0.68 million euros).
With restrictions on public gatherings in Poland to slow the spread of the virus, art auctions are being conducted without people in the room. Instead, potential buyers can bid by telephone or online.
In addition to a roundup of upcoming auctions, the artinfo.pl website is streaming them live online, which means that people can follow them on their electronic devices without leaving their homes.