Wealthy millennials boosting the art market

A man looks at two paintings ‘Colored Campbell’s soup can’ from 1965 by late US artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987) the Art Unlimited of the Art Basel art fair in Basel June 16, 2011. (File/Reuters)
Updated 08 March 2019
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Wealthy millennials boosting the art market

  • People between 22 and 37 years of age made up nearly half of the wealthy art buyers who regularly spent $1 million or more on an artwork over the past two years
  • Millennials’ spending habits could provide significant potential for both online sales and art’s squeezed middle

ZURICH: The global art market experienced another uptick in 2018, helped by an increase in the spending power of millennials, a report published by UBS and Art Basel said on Friday.
A survey of wealthy individuals conducted by UBS and art economist Clare McAndrew for the report found millennials were buying art more actively and frequently taking to the Internet to do so. It found that more of them were willing to shell out big money on art than their older peers.
They also provided a boost for female artists.
“For a generation that might never own a car, their appetite for buying art is encouraging,” UBS Group Chief Marketing Officer Johan Jervøe told Reuters.
“It may be a reflection of the unique and often experiential qualities of art and collectibles as long-term assets.”
Overall sales in the art market grew 7 percent to $67.4 billion in 2018, according to UBS and Art Basel’s third annual art market report.
People between 22 and 37 years of age made up nearly half of the wealthy art buyers who regularly spent $1 million or more on an artwork over the past two years, the survey found, despite representing just over a third of the high-net-worth individuals surveyed.
The results of the survey, which was conducted in Britain, Germany, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong, offered a silver lining for the art world as geopolitical and economic worries have weighed on overall sentiment.
As millennials grow into greater wealth, and benefit from a generational shift in wealth inherited from aging parents, their wealth could reach $24 trillion by 2020, according to Deloitte.
Millennials’ spending habits could provide significant potential for both online sales and art’s squeezed middle, Jervøe said, benefiting the industry’s overall health.
This younger generation of collectors with over $1 million in household assets to spend or invest helped buoy the digital art marketplace to $6 billion sales last year.
And a majority of them also took to photo-sharing social media platform Instagram to source and buy art.
Between 2016 and 2018, 93 percent of the millennials made purchases online, spending $106,930 on average, while the slightly older Generation X — between 38 and 52 years of age -spent around half a million dollars on an average web purchase, but did so with less frequency.


Where We Are Going Today: Shatllah

Updated 22 March 2019
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Where We Are Going Today: Shatllah

  • Shatllah’s prices are reasonable, while the assistants are very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful

Do you need to add a little life and color to your surroundings? Houseplants are often said to be a source of positivity, and Shatllah has taken this concept to the next level.

Forget the idea of a lonely looking plant in a boring beige pot; this shop adds beautifully designed containers and creative touches that turn them into delightful decorations that are almost works of art. One in particular that caught my eye was designed to look like a tiny garden, complete with a miniature table and chair.

Shatllah’s creations make for perfect gifts, which is how I discovered the shop, in Jeddah’s Al-Zahra’a district, while looking for a present for a friend who loves houseplants. I was so impressed with its wares that I ended up buying some for myself as well. After all, who would not rather have a living plant decorating their home rather than artificial flowers or other fake items?

Shatllah’s prices are reasonable, while the assistants are very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful. They are more than happy to offer advice on picking the perfect plant and how to take care of it when you get it home.