Experts discuss art market changes at Christie’s Art+Tech Summit

Experts discuss art market changes at Christie’s Art+Tech Summit
In a one-on-one session at Christie’s Art+Tech Summit, held at Art Dubai, longtime art experts Ridha Moumni and moderator Marcus Fox discussed developments in the art market in recent years. (Supplied)
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Updated 04 March 2023
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Experts discuss art market changes at Christie’s Art+Tech Summit

Experts discuss art market changes at Christie’s Art+Tech Summit

DUBAI: In a one-on-one session at Christie’s Art+Tech Summit, held at Art Dubai, longtime art experts Ridha Moumni and moderator Marcus Fox discussed developments in the art market in recent years.

Fox is the global managing director of the 20th and 21st-century art group at Christie’s, while Moumni was appointed deputy chairman of Christie’s Middle East and North Africa last year.

Moumni comes from an academic and not-for-profit background. Joining the auction house has been a learning curve, with the need to develop another skill set.

“When you are working in the academic world, you are focusing on different topics. In the auction house, you try to understand the artwork, how to read an artwork, how to collaborate with a collector, how to try to sell an artwork, and how you can anticipate the market,” he told the audience.

The pair discussed how Christie’s has expanded, shining a light on different and overlooked areas of art, since its foundation in London in 1766. The auction house opened its Dubai outpost in 2006, offering modern and contemporary art from the Arab world, Turkiye and Iran.

“We’re seeing a different representation of art collecting with our most important clients, who, if we speak plainly, bought for most of Christie’s multi-century history, works that were created by old or dead white men,” said Fox.

“That is changing now. There’s a lot of opportunities, in terms of being engaged with communities, understanding the needs of those communities, understanding what role we play.”

Moumni said that the Dubai office has sought to educate the public on art from the region by building relations with collectors and museums, and publishing books on pioneering artists.

“I think the auction houses in the region have a visibility and maybe also a responsibility at some point,” he said.

In a post-colonial world, where art and culture from the region has previously lacked documentation and preservation, Moumni believes that he lives in an exciting time of rediscovering artists from the Middle East.

“We are the new region,” he said. “This market is very new, but also extremely appealing.”