Art and internationalization: How and why you have to go global

· Gallery Resources

Internationalization is a strategy that allows businesses to expand and develop worldwide. This often occurs in order to take advantage of new opportunities, offered by other countries and foreign markets. In the contemporary climate, having a successful international presence is essential and as a gallery or artist, you are no exception. In this article, Artsper shares with you its key insights on going global!

Why Should I Become International?

To increase your legitimacy

One of the main advantages of going global is to gain legitimacy. By migrating or expanding to contemporary art capitals in Asia, the US, UK, and France, you can acquire greater recognition as a gallery or artist. This effectively reduces uncertainty surrounding the quality of the artworks or the artists’ talent. It also builds trust between vendors and the greater public, inviting more potential collectors. Transparency and trust are essential for collector loyalty.

Paris is experiencing a resurgence in the art market. Maxime Blachère, Paris la Seinoise, 2021 © Artsper

To improve your reputation

A gallery or artist establishing itself abroad increases its presence and reputation; locally, regionally and worldwide. The better your reputation, the easier it is to attract new art collectors, as you increase your reach and subsequent potential growth in sales. For independent artists, expanding your reach can be a real game-changer as it opens you up to new markets, exhibitions and galleries. For galleries, internationalization is proof of a gallery’s financial status. It is a marker of success that can once again reinforce a gallery’s reputation. Such is the case for big names such as Galerie Perrotin which has 11 spaces including 4 in Paris, or Gagosian which has 19 gallery spaces!

Josh Sperling at Galerie Perrotin, Tokyo © Perrotin

To bring new artistic trends to the forefront

International expansion opens a new market, in which galleries can unearth emerging talent. It's often much easier to find local talent once in situ. And this works both ways! Galleries become more recognizable to international talent, and of course, contact is facilitated through the reduction of geographical barriers. This is one of the reasons why curators travel so much.

Zhao Da-Wei, Urban Landscape Series - The Beginning Of The Lantern, 2019 © Artsper

To cut costs

Although internationalization seems risky and costly at first, it guarantees you will experience a significant reduction in costs in the long term. Developing several points of sale around the world helps to stabilize the often unstable revenues associated with selling art. It also becomes significantly easier to make several large sales per month. Less important, yet still worth mentioning is the reduction of shipping costs, along with the reduced risk of damage to works during delivery.

Some countries wishing to establish themselves in the art market are facilitating entry and encouraging foreign investment. This takes the form of government assistance when setting up a new gallery or for the organization of large-scale cultural events. The UK government, for example, offers tax relief for exhibitions in museums and galleries to encourage the development of the art world. This plan helps organizations who wish to share their exhibitions with the public, allowing them to recover up to 20% of their core production costs and 25% for touring exhibitions. Going global makes it easier for galleries and artists to take advantage of fiscal benefits worldwide.

Edenlilas, Save my money, 2022 © Artsper

How do I become international?

By participating in international events

There are various ways for you, as a gallery or artist, to expand internationally, each with different levels of expense and risk. The most common method is to take part in international art events, such as fairs, exhibitions (salons) or Biennials. A contemporary art fair is first and foremost a commercial event and even the largest fairs are growing internationally. Art Basel takes place annually in Basel, in Miami, and in Hong Kong, whilst last year saw the introduction of its first ever edition in Paris. Frieze Art Fair now takes place in London, New York, Los Angeles and Seoul. For many galleries and artists, taking part in fairs has become essential in the promotion of their artworks and it’s a way to connect with both new and regular collectors.

The International Contemporary Art Fair (FIAC) in Paris © Luxus Plus

However, the positive impacts of a fair aren’t always immediate. It remains a long process of building relationships. This type of event can also be subject to risks and cancellations, so it is best not to develop your entire visibility strategy solely on it. Online sales platforms such as Artsper ensure you a lasting visibility in all periods.

By selling on an online Marketplace like Artsper!

Artsper's online marketplace is home to more than 25 000 artists.

Last but not least, internationalization can be achieved by selling your works online. Less expensive than the two previous options, this is also much less risky. It’s a great first step towards internationalization! The ubiquity of accessible technology and the internet means avenues to purchasing art can be simplified and sales can be multiplied. On Artsper, you benefit from a support service as well as the creation of editorial content to promote artists on our platform. In 2020, Artsper grew by 40%, proving the usefulness of an online art sales platform. Finally, artists, galleries, and collectors from all over the world can interact on a global scale – in just one click.

Global reach, global recognition, global success

In today's interconnected world, art vendors must expand their reach and audience by embracing global opportunities. In going beyond your local context, you can increase your legitimacy, cut costs, and gain international recognition. The world is your oyster!


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