Here’s why millennials are shelling out big bucks for artwork

Many millennials are forgoing startup homes and buying art instead. They choose to leave the cheap reprints in their college dorms and invest in original pieces by fine artists. Catalyzed by higher incomes and the ubiquity of the internet, millennials are buying more art than the generations before them. Over the past two years, adults aged 22 to 37 have purchased nearly half of all artwork priced at $1 million or more, according to a new art market report from Art. Basel and UBS.

The breakdown you need to know:

The purchasing power of these young collectors helped propel the “global art market to its second highest level in a decade”, the report notes. A significant portion of their purchases came from social media, where black adults make up the largest group of users. Specifically, the Art Market report noted that 93% of millennials have made purchases online, spending an average of $106,930.

Generation Y invests in artists discovered at forums such as Miami’s Prizm art fair or Los Angeles’ Superfine. Additionally, online platforms like Saatchi Art, Paddle8, and Artsy where pieces range from $50 to $50,000 are catching their attention. This generation tends to view art as both an investment and part of a movement, often purchasing more socially conscious pieces and works by women and people of color.

Artistic awareness:

Black millennials in particular have been part of a tremendous wave of cultural contributions to the art world. Social engagement and momentum are almost as valuable as a single monetary transaction. From leaders like digital curator Kimberly Drew introducing artists to her audience of nearly 300,000 and fellow MacArthur Njideka Akunyili Crosby, to musicians like Drake rapping about his show of well-known artists at home and Solange performing his music at the Guggenheim in New York City; we see millennials showcasing, promoting, and buying art in their own way, which drives the entire industry.

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