WITH the Government ordering artists to retrain as coding experts and the closure of thousands of galleries across the UK, few would have expected the art world to show the kind of resilience we've seen over the past few months.
As a PR agency with a long list of artists and galleries on our roster, we certainly feared the worst when the Boris took to his podium to announce a second, countrywide lockdown. After all, when money's tight and the future uncertain, splashing thousands of pounds on a piece of wall decor - however beautiful it may be - seems like an extravagant purchase. But our artists and galleries have reported a surprising level of success in the second half of 2020 - and the media has been particularly receptive to stories about the art world.
Why? Well, it seems that staring at the same four walls for months on end might have finally pushed buyers to FINALLY take the plunge and cover that unsightly bare space that previously went unnoticed. And a sound investment in art needn't be seen as a frivolous expense - picking the right artist might mean you'll be the owner of a piece that appreciates in value over time.
Of course, due to the huge cost of property in London and the need for large expanses of wall space, galleries have long been set up to run smaller bricks-and-mortar operations with a substantial e-commerce presence, meaning the closure of galleries hasn't hit business in the devastating way it has ripped through London's hospitality sector.
And if there's ever been a time to take your first steps into the world of art collectors, this is it. We recently visited the studio of our PR client, Dan Pearce, to find a setup that couldn't be more perfect for a lockdown world - shut off from the outside world and surrounded by everything he needs to create his beautiful, mixed-media pieces. With no interruptions allowed (bar our short business meeting!), his studio is bursting with art ready to be sent to customers and galleries all over the UK.
Meanwhile, Maxim's delivering new artworks to galleries including the new Bermondsey-based art bar & restaurant, The Last Talisman, which opens this month and Zebra One Gallery has enjoyed a year of unprecedented coverage. So, while the world seems like it's on pause and BoJo and his colleagues seem as though they're ready to twist the knife into the heart of the creative industries, we should all take heart from the fact that artists and galleries are soldiering on against all odds.