COVID-19 and the art market

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is having a massive impact on the art market. COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. Most infected people will develop mild to moderate illness and recover without hospitalization. COVID-19 lockdowns have caused sales to slump and have pushed galleries, fairs, and auction houses towards non-​traditional territory: the internet. Online galleries have sprung up like mushrooms. Art fairs such as Art Basel and Art Cologne have opened “online viewing rooms”. Before the crisis, the internet was mainly used as a showcase for art. “Sales were negligible: of the $64.1 billion in global art market sales last year”, according to Artmarket, the online sector accounted for 10%. But in the first quarter of 2020, that share skyrocketed to 37%. Not only are galleries turning towards the internet, but artists are becoming more interested in exploring digital art too, and as a result, the internet is now becoming the new art market. Universities and Art Colleges are also starting to teach online too.

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Less common symptoms include aches and pains, sore throat, diarrhea, conjunctivitis, headache, loss of taste or smell, a rash on the skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes. To prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Clean your hands often.
  • Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Stay at home if you feel unwell.
  • If you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention.

Suffice to say, one of the obvious ways artists are dealing with this situation is by creating an artistic face-mask! Companies such as SnapFish let artists create their own facemasks. Alternatively, you can Google search “Facemask template”, save the image, and then create one like the facemask shown above. For more information, please contact me

Please wear a facemask

Facemasks help slow the spread of the coronavirus.



Author: Piers Midwinter
I am an artist and a teacher. I am currently teaching at a Cambridge International School in Vietnam.