“When you buy a hat like this I bet you get a free bowl of soup”…CADDYSHACK
There are more then 1500 websites trying to sell you Art. There are about 6500 Art dealers and galleries in the United States. They have combined annual revenue of approximately 8 billion dollars. But where do you go to sell an artist work? The secondary or aftermarket to monetize Artwork is arbitrary, unsystematic and in many cases non-existent. The main contributor to this problem is the lack of capital that galleries and dealers are not required to have to be in the business of art distribution. This is particularly the problem that local artist and their buyers and sellers of their art. What does exist is an institutionalized system that the Art Market has inherited – the selling by Consignment, which leads to very high selling commission, usually 50% to gallery or other gatekeepers and 50% to the seller. For any buyer to utilize this works of art as an asset with alternative asset value and possible a future return or liquidity it must over come this front-end load and expense and lack of marketability. This true fact is without these elements is costing the Art Industry possibly billion’s of dollars a year.
Throughout the twentieth century and now the twenty first century the sole judgment has fallen to dealers and “opinion formers” on merit and value of the visual arts. This has lead to these high commission rates. It has always been hard to sell Art. The galleries and the dealer community as well as the critics, public funds, professional patrons and museum directors all help the viewing public have Arts Aesthetic experience. But leaving this oligarchy to be the backbone of the Art market and preserving its capital value as an alternative asset leaves the aftermarket or secondary market without orderly definition and a democratic voice.