From Novice to Expert: How to Navigate in the Art Industry
As a closing ceremony of the main exhibition World Trade Center x Victory Art introducing Andrea Ehret: 24K Feelings at the World Trade Center in the Hague on the 27th of June, World Trade Center and Victory Art organized a panel discussion–From Novice to Expert: How to Navigate in the Art Industry–with knowledgeable individuals to help enrich the arts and culture industry.
In collaboration with the Embassy of the Slovak Republic and Czech-Dutch Chamber of Commerce, the panel discussion came together as a final ceremony of the Slovak abstract expressionist, Andrea Ehret’s exhibition of the luminous, gold-incorporated collection. The discussion encapsulated two major topics–technology and art with an emphasis on artificial intelligence and blockchain, and art as an investment by three knowledgeable individuals–Harald van der Sluys Veer, Ahmed Rbaibi, and Viktória Pikovská–offering their take on how the art industry functions and where it is currently heading.
The ceremony opened with Aditya Putta, Victory Art’s business coordinator, with an introduction of himself and the panelists. As an industry outsider, Putta provided a more relatable platform to those members of the audience that were not involved in the art industry. Victory Art’s guiding mission has always been to help make great art accessible to everyone interested. Good pieces of art can be bought with upwards of €250. Not everything in this industry is going to put a hole in your pocket. The panelists first approached icebreaker questions posed by Putta to look at the interesting history of the industry and look into art as a niche appreciated by a selected few.
The ceremony escalated to the discussion about technology and art which emphasized artificial intelligence or AI. AI, in a nutshell, is a software that is able to learn from data to do a specific task such as differentiate between contemporary or modern art. Rbaibi, a data scientist who has worked on several AI projects, describes the art produced by AI as designing a replica of Rembrandt, in the same style and brush stroke. In fact, he considers this style of art to be so intricate that he is unable to differentiate between original artistic handwork and graphic artwork.
However, a member from the audience raised a contrasting viewpoint offering an opinion of resistance against the inclusion of AI in the art market as he considered machine-made artwork to have “taken the soul out of art” while the society, on the contrary, considers it art just because of its aesthetic appeal. He quoted this way of looking at art just for its appeal as an impoverished way. Yet, Rbaibi considered the graphic artworks to be creative and fascinating and believes that AI would have a strong impact on the art industry.
The discussion further transitioned to art as an investment which entailed Pikovská, the founder and CEO of Victory Art, explaining the upcoming of the art industry. When the economy collapsed due to high inflation during the financial crisis of 2008, the only market to not only survive but thrive was the art market, especially the Eastern European market. What Pikovská considered highly fascinating, as she mentioned, was that until 2009, the prices of the art industry escalated to as high as 40% more than the before crisis prices as the rich were making investments in the art industry to secure their money. It seems during the Great Recession, prices of art went up by about 40% because the rich were looking to secure their money in assets.
Overall, the panel discussion was very engaging with prompt participation from the audience. The discussion marked an incredible and informative end to a luminous exhibition.