Saatchi Online Launches Fine Art Marketplace – artmarketblog.com
Since being relaunched in Beta mode almost five months ago, the new incarnation of Saatchi Online has already attracted almost ninety thousand artists from all over the world. Based in LA and with a dedicated staff of 16, the new incarnation of the Saatchi Online gallery site means business – as does Bruce Livingstone, the Canadian entrepreneur and former founder of istockphoto who has been tasked with ensuring the new Saatchi Online is a success. Having spent many happy hours browsing through the work of many talented artists on the old site, when I was asked to be the first person to interview Bruce about the redeveloped site and the new features that are about to be unveiled, I was more than happy to oblige. Although full details of the new features will not be officially revealed until mid March during the Scope Art Fair, Bruce has allowed me to give readers of this blog a taste of what is to come. Instead of trotting out the traditional structured interview, I thought it would be more beneficial to outline the reasons that, after talking to Bruce, I think make Saatchi Online well worth being a part of. So, here are my top 5 reasons for joining Saatchi Online:
1. Online Marketplace: Members of Saatchi Online will already be aware that artists will soon be able to sell their work on the site. What you perhaps didn’t know, and what will make the marketplace so attractive to artists and buyers, is that Saatchi Online will organise payment, will organise shipping of the work to the buyer AND will offer the buyer a seven day money back guarantee. This means that the artist doesn’t have to be worried about organising payment or shipping, and that the buyer can purchase any work from the site with the knowledge that if it isn’t what they expected they can send it back within seven days. If you are thinking that all these great features will result in a smaller portion of the sale price ending up with the artist, think again. According to the Saatchi Online people, artists selling through Saatchi Online receive the highest commission ever paid in the online art industry at 70 percent.
2. Social Networking Tools: Bruce was adamant that he didn’t want to limit the scope of interaction by creating an environment where the types of works that members were exposed to were dictated by profiles and statistics. Instead, a social networking system will be put in place where members can create networks and share their journey of discovery with fellow members in an open and interactive environment. Think twitter for the art world.
3. Showdown Competition: Showdown is a fee-free visual “head-to-head” competition. The winners of the Showdown competitions receive a cash prize and a spot in the Saatchi Gallery in London or are featured at SCOPE International Art Fairs. The opportunity to actually exhibit at the Saatchi Gallery in London or at an international art fair is something any artist would love to have. This interaction with the “real” art world is a unique feature of the Saatchi Online site.
4. Charles Saatchi: Any association with Charles Saatchi has to be a huge positive for a website. It is good to know that Charles Saatchi is still a majority shareholder in Saatchi Online and that Bruce has regular contact with him.
5. Collections: One of my favourite features of the site is the featured collections area. Featured collections allows members to create collections of works from the works that artists have submitted to the site. Allowing members to curate their own space gives those members who are not artists the chance to be creative and gives the artists whose work is chosen to be in the spaces a bit of extra exposure. Brilliant !!
Finally, I would like to provide a quote from Bruce that I think sums up his vision for Saatchi Online:
“People crave a sense of community with those who share their passions, their obsessions and even their trials. Saatchi Online will be home to art lovers and artists everywhere. I fully expect several of the art luminaries of the next century to be discovered here first.” – Bruce Livingstone
To check out the new Saatchi Online go to http://www.saatchionline.com
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications
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