Compared to other auction markets, the photography market seems to persist as an enigmatic entity that is stunted by its reproducibility of medium and resulting inability to reach the significant hammer prices that other auction markets enjoy. The Photography Auction Market Analysis 2018 looks at this complex market highlighting last year’s trends and developments. Here are 3 key takeaways from the report that begin to peel back the curtain on this less understood market.
1. New report methodology reveals almost half of photography sales value came through contemporary day and evening sales between 2015 and 2018: This year, and moving forward, the report has decided to include not only photography dedicated sales in its market analysis report, but also photography sales in Post-War & Contemporary day and evening sales channels. Why? Peter Gerdman, Head of Market Analysis and Products at ArtTactic, explains that, “Historically, we looked only at photography dedicated sales, but the issue with that approach is that you only get one small snapshot of the market. By introducing additional components and sales channels you get a wider view of the photography market as a whole.” He continues, “For example, there are artists, like Richard Prince and Wolfgang Tillmans, whose works primarily sell in Post-War & Contemporary sales. These artists cater to a specific type of collector who are predominantly involved in that sector of the market as opposed to the traditional photography market. In the 2017 report we didn’t see that.”
2. Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Andreas Gursky, and Wolfgang Tillmans generated 93% of their sales value through the Post-War & Contemporary Evening and Day sales. The top 5 artists by sales value in 2018 were sold primarily through Post-War & Contemporary evening sale and day sales, rather than dedicated photography sales – Richard Prince was sold exclusively through Post-War & Contemporary channels. Irving Pe