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  Communiqué de la société ARTMARKET.COM du 30/06/2017 - Artprice takes a major stake in the OTC Art Market which generates a volume of transactions roughly 7 to 9 times higher than the traditional art market

  30/06/2017 - 13:05

Artprice takes a major stake in the OTC Art Market which generates a volume of transactions roughly 7 to 9 times higher than the traditional art market

As global leader in Art Market information, Artprice has been creating and using macro-economic, microeconomic and sociological tools to analyse the global Art Market since 1987.

This press release should be seen as the result of a series of studies and production of the service, where each paragraph describes a precise step of the different phases of Artprice's new OTC process.

The “traditional” global Art Market is primarily driven by a hard core of major players (galleries, auction houses and museums) who – despite the market's extremely rapid evolution – remain inextricably tied to a framework of economic constraints and academic values from which they are unable to escape.

One result of this situation is that the traditional art market essentially ignores artworks valued under $5,000. With relatively high costs and overheads, the major players naturally focus on works valued higher than $5,000, a low-end estimate that is constantly rising. In fact, in the Anglo-Saxon art market, the entry level figure is closer to $50,000.

At the global level, the traditional art market represents only about one million transactions on the secondary market with roughly another three million generated by galleries and the like.

However, this is just the visible tip of a global art market iceberg whose submerged segment represents approximately thirty million transactions worldwide each year, a segment that Artprice calls the OTC Art Market (over-the-counter) ®.

Artprice has therefore decided to launch a new IPR-protected Standardized Marketplace followed by its Blockchain (see Actusnews 05/2016) in order to capture and process the colossal volume of over-the-counter transactions via its US subsidiary This subsidiary, Sound View Press, created in 1975, 100% owned by Artprice and renammed, is undergoing significant development and is increasingly mature in terms of turnover and demand. It is also preparing an IPO.

According to thierry Ehrmann, Artprice's founder and CEO, “the decision to launch an OTC marketplace represents a major dimension shift equivalent to that initiated by Artprice's IPO in 2000. This opens a new avenue for future growth and development, and represents a ‘disruptive' cataclysm, carried out with new partners on different continents and from different fields, that will permanently modify the history of the Art Market in the 21st century.

After investing three million hours of work into its databases, pursuing a successful external growth campaign –with strong historic roots through true institutions in the global Art world: Enrique Mayer 1962, Sound View Press 1975 USA, Le Mireur 1911, FVW 1970, Bayer USA 1913, etc.– setting up the most extensive fund in the global Art world with 126 million artworks from 1700 to the present days, and building powerful Econometric and Art History departments to analyse the visible and underlying mechanisms of the global Art Market from every conceivable perspective, that yield 90% of the global Art Market's indices, Artprice's is now in a perfect position to initiate a powerful ‘primary blast' on the OTC marketplace.

Despite the obvious resistance, the art markets seems a perfect candidate for Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa's famous observation (spoken by Tancredi) “if we want everything to remain the same, everything must change”.... The ‘secondary blast' will be Artprice's Blockchain which represents the continuity and trust of the OTC market already on networks for two decades.

On its OTC marketplace, Artprice will receive a fixed, single-price fee on all transactions. The OTC market is estimated to involve 7 to 9 times the number of transactions concluded in the traditional art market, with the vast majority involving deals of $500 to $5,000.

Managed by a digital billing system designed to process high transaction volumes, Artprice's OTC transaction fees will be exposed to very low running costs and will therefore have a powerful impact on its bottom line. This press release also provides in-depth information about the different communities who make up the 1.2 million living artists who participate in the OTC marketplace.

On the demand side of the OTC market, we have a whole new generation of “art consumers” representing approximately 40 million households worldwide. These consumers now have access to new low-cost multi-risk insurance policies that cover artworks and special cheaper policies for small art collections. We are also seeing the emergence of online groups of new collectors who are otherwise absent from the traditional Art Market.

This new generation of collectors cannot afford to buy art through traditional outlets and, on the whole, does not share the same aesthetic values as the traditional market.

In the development of its “OTC Marketplace” Artprice will be financially supported by a carefully selected network of private museums, powerful collectors, high-tech business patrons and a number of historical Chinese art market participants. Collectively, these players all appreciate the financial potential of the OTC Art Market as well as its colossal volume, which will also utlimately be the traditional Art Market's furture.

Having received BPI Innovative Company status, Artprice will also seek support from the latter to develop. Artprice's R&D relies on its external growth *.

In three years' time, Artprice has been able to form a solid and final opinion by meeting and/or connecting online with thousands of artists, associations, Economic Interest Groups (GIEs), new collectors, private museums, key players in the Maker community, sociologists and art historians on different continents. This research has been greatly facilitated by thierry Ehrmann's status not just as founder and CEO of Artprice, but also as a recognised sculptor-artist for 35 years and founder of Musée l'Organe in 1999.

OTC artists and new collectors share the fact they are 100% on the Internet, which has been central to their world for a certain time now, unlike the traditional Art Market where the Internet is peripheral.

The global community of OTC artists has already built the solid foundations of an online economic ecosystem that is totally independent from the traditional Art Market. This ecosystem is accelerating the supply and demand for art exponentially and, in so doing, is gradually narrowing the influence and extent of the traditional Art Market with which it has almost no cultural or economic relations.

Since its origins, Artprice – with its atypical dual culture – has always been active in both worlds. For OTC artists, it therefore represents a unifying force with a World Leader status that provides a space for existence outside of the traditional Art Market. And this space is not just a marketplace; it's a managed real-time window with exceptional online visibility and the capacity to archive every detail of an artist's career. Artprice's visibility is of course supported by online indexing and its numerous Domain Name Servers such as, the top Google result out of 67 million with the generic search “Art Market”.

The growth of the OTC segment now requires a federating structure like Artprice that understands how the traditional model works... with its weaknesses, and its strengths.

Artprice's parent company, Server Group, has been on the Internet since 1987 (i.e. 30 years) and therefore has genuine legitimacy among the communities and networks of OTC artists for whom the Internet is the basis of the OTC art market.

The expansion of the OTC art market – which represents a break with 120 years of academic and economic practice – will have a veritable “blast” impact on the traditional Art Market that seems incapable of evolving. It represents a paradigm shift as disruptive as the transition from the traditional economy to the digital economy. For Art Market historians, the last twenty years have seen more significant structural changes than throughout the 20th century.

The traditional Art Market suffers from elitism and a museum industry that leads the market from one auction record to the next. This dynamic prompts traditional players to side-step the OTC segment of the Art Market resulting in the emergence of a huge gap between the two worlds, both in economic and cultural terms. In addition, the elitist and academic leanings of the traditional Art Market have cost it many years of historical legitimacy that could have been used to build commercial bridges with the OTC Art Market. In contrast, Artprice has been building this kind of legitimacy for over twenty years, a legitimacy that can neither be purchased nor ignored.

Today, Artprice, in addition to its world leader position in Art Market information, occupies a unique position in Art History by working simultaneously for the traditional Art Market and the OTC Art Market. This dual position has been an inherent part of Artprice's corporate culture ever since its origin. Artprice's soft power lies in its ability to diplomaticaly and harmoniously connect the two antagonistic cultures.

Meanwhile, the artists on the OTC Art Market now have access to radically reduced production costs in a range of sophisticated techniques: ultra-high resolution printers for digital photography (superior to photo labs), industrial 3D printers for sculptors and artists, high-power laser cutters and engravers, computer-numerical-controlled machine tools (CNC), pooled industry 4.0 processes and cyber-physical systems (CPS) etc. The costs of these techniques have been divided by almost 10 in less than 20 years allowing artists to create works of exceptional quality and offer them to the market for less than $5,000.

The acceleration of industrial production with access to powerful mediums and materials in new technology fields has been accompanied by the simultaneous emergence of a new generation of collectors who wholeheartedly accept multiple works created in these mediums, both in the West and in Greater Asia.

The best example is on Facebook, the world's dominant social network, whose founder, Mark Zuckerberg, has just officially announced (on 27 June 2017) that it now has over 2 billion users.

Over the 2015/2017 period, Artprice has been using very strict criteria to select OTC artists on Facebook whose pages are exclusively dedicated to their artistic production and distribution.

This selection process has identified – at the low end of the scale – no less than 1.8 million pages created by OTC artists producing high quality works and yet who have absolutely no exposure in the traditional art market. This figure provides a measure of the yawning gap between the two markets.

It should be noted that, since 2012, Artprice has been the first company in Europe to develop proprietary algorithms to daily score cultural players on Facebook.

A large budget was allocated to the production of indices, tools and economic benchmarks. Early on such investments raised questions – nowadays the results they yielded are authoritative in the Art world by their precedence and the power of the proprietary algorithms.

The social networks – where Artprice has always had a strong presence – are an ideal environment to “innervate” OTC artists who face not just an economic barrier to entry into the traditional market, but also a cultural barrier. Street art is a good example: the traditional market has represented fewer than 3,285 Street artists whereas more than 125,000 Street artists live well from their work. These artists need access to global sales networks and preferably via a globally recognized label like Artprice.

Artprice has long understood the irreversible changes. It has been present right from the start at one of the leading global gatherings of Street Art, Bristol's Upfest-The Urban Paint Festival in the UK and at the Asalto Festival in Spain's Zaragoza, Living Walls in Atlanta, Georgia, and Pow! Wow! Hawaii… combined of course with business intelligence and sociological monitoring on the Internet by Sreetartnews, POW WOW Worldwide, etc.

Moreover, its world famous headquarters near Lyons in France (the subject of 2,700 audio-visual media productions in 87 countries over 18 years) is in itself a Contemporary Art Museum since 1999 (Musée d'Art Contemporain l'Organe) with thousands of works, that constitute the body of works of La Demeure du Chaos / the Abode of Chaos, dixit "The New York Times", and that perfectly exemplify this new counter-culture in a wide range of mediums including those generated by technological and digital innovations.

Another significant medium on the OTC Art Market is photography. Artprice, via its parent company Server Group and its former news-photo agency subsidiary (which presided over the French Union of News and Photo-Reporting Agencies (Saphir), has over 25 years of experience and knowledge in this rapidly evolving environment.

Artprice was the principal sponsor of the 2000 Paris Photo Fair and has published a number of books and databases on photography since 1987 around the world. Indeed, Artprice has an infinitely better knowledge of photography than the traditional art market players and represents a legitimate authority on the subject. For 12 years, Artprice was the only player to classify photography as Fine Art in its databases, when the traditional art market remained sceptical.

Thanks to the digital and the Internet chain, the number of art and press photographers as well as confirmed amateurs amount to approximatively 379,000 artists (at the low end of the scale – cumulative figures from the main associations, clubs, communities, Flickr Pro, 500PX, as ell as the Companies managing artists' copyrights, such as the ADAGP, the DACS or the ARS), among which only 22,500 are sold on the auction market and addressed by traditional players. This segment also experiences a culture clash and economic hardships that stall transactions with traditional players, as is the case with Street artists.

The visuals arts available on the OTC Art market may be classified according to the following variables, according to Artprice: medium/format, technology used, tools used, shape, units of illuminance, colours, raw or processed materials, known or experimental science used and production time.

A large number of artists in the OTC environment are working with new mediums and formats. There are currently dozens of such mediums and disciplines and some are growing at an exponential pace.

Among the other mediums, we should mention immersive multimedia, unique design using 3D printers, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), 4k and 8k video work filmed by networked drones, sculptures/installations employing new mediums and materials from industry and research, multisensory works, digital 3D drawing and design assisted by economic intelligence, work on robotics and humanoids, artworks derived directly from R&D, holographic artworks, works created by digital networks, hybridization and mutation artworks, copyleft works, works using composite materials, works derived from prototyping, works derived from biotechnology and, more generally, from the “Maker” culture which represents a revolution of knowledge and the Arts that is unique in the history of Art.

The “Maker” culture (to date approximately 570,000 creators in networks) is also modernizing certain artistic processes that have been around since time immemorial. These processes have been ‘re-appropriated' to create unique works and communicate on the creative process itself. This artistic approach helps to focus on the objectives and processes made possible by recent innovations that are relatively cheap and highly flexible: the Internet, collaborative systems and the world of open-source ideas, the fast-growing ubiquity of computer-numerical-controlled machine tools... closing in on the infinitely small and shrinking space-time.

Over the last two decades, the democratization of digital media has considerably augmented humanity's capacity to create and disseminate artworks. The entire value chain, from conception to consumption, has been transformed.

With the implementation of Artprice's Blockchain, the last link in the OTC chain will be the secondary blast... that of direct sales, from the OTC artist to new collectors... with no intermediary. The digital era has completely opened up the possibilities for creation and sharing and the power to act (“creative empowerment”) in which the artist no longer creates a closed, fixed and linear artwork, but rather creates a system that generates a continual flow of works.

The OTC visual artist in 2017 is therefore much more likely to be an explorer of various sciences. His studio is closer to an R&D lab – Tiers Lieux, Fab Lab, Hackerspace, Makerspace, digital industries and biotech laboratories – than to the typical studios of the early 20th century which belong to the recent history of the traditional Art Market.

His scientific knowledge and approach do not detract from his fundamental value as a visual artist, and may be used to multiply the production of very high quality works at a lower cost. This model implies a paradigm shift largely triggered by the traditional Art Market's inability to formally identify the intrinsically artistic dimension of such works and its inability to imagine a business model that is profitable for all parties concerned.

We observe an increasingly widening gap between the traditional Art Market and this new generation of artists emerging on five continents that is exercising power through its scientific knowledge to challenge the traditional Art Market. The latter is still functioning with academic standards that belong very much to the early 20th century.

To illustrate the kind of resistance that characterizes the traditional Art Market, remember how long it took (20 years) to accept acrylic paint as a valid medium for painting.

With this example in mind, it is easy to understand why the traditional Art Market will eschew the explosion of new artistic creations that are developing in tandem with an exponential growth of sciences to form the OTC Art Market, which ultimately considers the artwork in the 21st century as a tangible expression of humanity's capacity to process information at the highest levels (c.f Y.M.).

It is interesting to compare the estimate of 1.2 million living OTC artists with Artprice's figures for the traditional art market. According to Artprice's databases, by far the most comprehensive in the world, the number of artists who have at least one public sale to their name from the 14th century to the present day amounts to 657,000. This figure perfectly illustrates the limitations of the traditional Art Market.

Another illustration of the paradigm shift we are experiencing today concerns artistic movements: in 1997 Artprice's databases counted approximately 127 artistic movements since the birth of the Art Market. Our estimate of the number of movements currently in progress adds up to 325.

We obtain a similar picture in the field of artistic techniques. In 1997, Artprice's art historians and experts counted 212 artistic techniques since the origins of art, compared with 862 in 2017.

Artprice is therefore using its technological and innovative expertise to acquire a very significant lead over the traditional At Market. Artprice has managed to merge the best of both worlds; one, traditional and physical, the other, a game-changing digital environment. Its deep knowledge of these two worlds creates tremendous added value and represents a unique opportunity for artists on the OTC Art Market to obtain solid and respectable Internet exposure through Artprice's world leader position.

Wholeheartedly endorsing the vision of French President, Emmanuel Macron who, along with his State Secretary in charge of Digital Affairs, Mounir Mahjoubi, for the future regarding innovation and the digital economy, Artprice is consolidating and exploiting its position as world leader in Art Market information more than ever before.

* A few years back, Artprice acquired, for a substantial sum, a high-tech Swiss company called Xylogic, an acquisition that has already been 100% amortized in its balance sheets. Xylogic is a group of reputed scientists who developed e-SA3 (e -Solutions for Art and Auction). It therefore has an undeniable and unique scientific lead in the traditional and OTC art markets, notably with its powerful proprietary algorithms. As regards the OTC Art Market, please note that Artprice has obtained IPR protection for its entire IT structure, its brands and the Domain Name Servers of “OTC Art Market®”.

Copyright thierry Ehrmann 1987/2017

About Artprice:

Artprice is listed on the Eurolist by Euronext Paris, SRD long only and Euroclear: 7478 - Bloomberg: PRC - Reuters: ARTF.

Artprice is the global leader in art price and art index databanks. It has over 30 million indices and auction results covering more than 657,000 artists. Artprice Images(R) gives unlimited access to the largest Art Market resource in the world: a library of 126 million images or prints of artworks from the year 1700 to the present day, along with comments by Artprice's art historians.

Artprice permanently enriches its databanks with information from 4,500 auctioneers and it publishes a constant flow of art market trends for the world's principal news agencies and approximately 7,200 international press publications. For its 4,500,000 members, Artprice gives access to the world's leading Standardised Marketplace for buying and selling art. Artprice is preparing its blockchain for the Art Market. It is BPI-labelled (scientific national French label).

Artprice's Global Art Market Annual Report for 2016:

The text presented hereafter is a translation of Arte Creative's online presentation:

ARTE: A gigantic Christmas tree in the guise of a butt plug, a machine that defecates five-star meals, an icon immersed in urine and staged corpses – subversive, trash, provocative or insulting? Thierry Ehrmann, the man behind The Abode of Chaos dixit "The New York Times", an artist and the founder of Artprice, is the mouthpiece for scandal and discloses the workings of the most striking controversies in contemporary art. And scandal sells. 9 episodes are online:

Discover the Alchemy and the universe of Artprice, which headquarters are the famous Museum of Contemporary Art, the Abode of Chaos

News Artmarket:

The Contemporary Arts Museum The Abode of Chaos on Facebook:

The Abode of Chaos/Demeure du Chaos Contemporary Art Museum by thierry Ehrmann,author, sculptor, artist, photograph

Contact : thierry Ehrmann : e-mail :

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