Saatchi Gallery Online Saleroom is Open for Business !!!
It is with extreme excitement that I announce that the Saatchi Gallery Online Saleroom (http://www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk/saleroom) is now open for business. The Saatchi Online Gallery is the pet project of controversial advertising mogul and art super-collector Charles Saatchi whose entrepreneurial skill is responsible for the rise of artists such as Damien Hirst (we all make mistakes), Tracey Emin, Sandra Chia and Sean Scully to name a few. With the proven ability to make or break an artist with worrying ease, Saatchi is arguably the most influential person in the world art market and the envy of more than a few art world elite. The physical Saatchi Gallery in London has been closed since 2005 after a highly publicised feud with his landlords which resulted in Saatchi being evicted from the previous gallery location at London’s County Hall. After several delays the Saatchi gallery will re-open in early 2008 at its new location of The Duke of York’s HQ building on Kings Road in Chelsea which with 70,000 sq ft of exhibition space will be one of the largest contemporary galleries in the world.
The lack of a physical gallery space has allowed the Saatchi Online Gallery to flourish with the number of hits exceeding fifty million per day on most days. Primarily a space for artists to display their work and network with other artists, it was only going to be a matter of time before the ability for artists to sell their work through the gallery was included, and that time has come. The Saatchi Online Saleroom allows anyone to buy art free of commission from artists around the world. The site takes no commission from artists and charges no commission to buyers. You simply buy the work you like directly from the artist, using Paypal or a suitable alternative payment method. The order that artists appear is random and changes regularly so the only way to find what you are looking for, other than searching for a particular artist, is to scroll through each work one by one which can get rather annoying especially when the order changes. There are a few glitches to be sorted out such as the defective artist search and it would be nice to be able to have the works sorted by medium but overall the saleroom is an exciting development that is a great opportunity for both artists and collectors. I can assure you that I will be purchasing works from the Saatchi Gallery Online Saleroom in the very near future so stay tuned for a full report once I have decided what to buy.
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.