Necessity is the mother of invention...

Necessity is the mother of invention...

A conversation about the art market in Covid times

The pop star of Berlin gallery owners Johann König spoke all-round all-star auctioneer Dr. Kilian Jay von Seldeneck in the backyard of St. Agnes Church in Berlin Kreuzberg.

The coronavirus pandemic is spreading far and wide and the art market has not been spared. The deep cuts and effects are already being felt by all players and institutions through temporary closures, cancellations or postponements - almost 90 percent of current or planned exhibitions and residencies have been canceled. The financial impact on livelihoods is devastating.

However, even before the ongoing pandemic, the mood among Berlin gallery owners, for example, was depressed. The alarming results of a representative online survey conducted jointly by the VBKI and the Landesverband Berliner Galerien (lvbg) among almost 200 Berlin gallery owners showed that 84% of gallery owners would no longer open a gallery if they were aware of the current situation.

But innovative, creative responses to the crisis would certainly be expected in the creative and cultural industries first. König and Kilian have the evidence: They have seized the opportunity for innovation and reflection, while artists' associations, the Cultural Council and cultural professionals are initially calling for immediate state funding, more commitment from the federal government through inclusion in the economic stimulus package, and a swift reversal of the nineteen percent VAT rate on art. The German gallery owner Johann König signaled that the art market needs a suitable platform without a lack of price transparency, where the profit goes to the creator and not to the seller. Buying art is and should be a direct promotion of art. This is how Johann König brings art to the market via the self-created "Corona replacement fair", the so-called Mass in St. Agnes and Kilian von Seldeneck through his auction on July 8. We would like to encourage you to be just as active and become an art patron!


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