The art world has seen a significant shift in recent years, with increased attention being given to Black American artists and their valuable contributions. The market for artwork by Black American artists has experienced substantial growth, indicating a potential opportunity for investors. However, despite notable progress, the market remains relatively small, underscoring the importance of further investment and support. This article explores the recent growth, challenges, and the significance of investing in black artists, while also drawing insights from
Charles Moore’s “The Black Market: A Guide to Art Collecting.”
A Growing Market:
According to a report by ArtNet, the market for work by Black American artists witnessed a remarkable surge of nearly 400% between 2008 and 2021. This growth is a testament to the increasing recognition and appreciation of the artistic talent within this community. However, it is worth noting that this expansion has not been consistent, with acquisitions peaking in 2015, two years after the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Limited Market Share:
Despite the growth, investment in Black American artists still represents a small fraction of the global art market. Sotheby’s reported that approximately $2.2 billion was spent on artwork by African American artists at auction over the past ten years. While this figure may appear substantial, it represents a mere 1.2% of the global auction market, which amounted to $180 billion during the same period (according to the artnet Price Database, 2019).
This History of Black Artists in America:
Understanding the historical context of Black artists in America provides valuable insights into the significance of investing in their artwork. Charles Moore’s “The Black Market: A Guide to Art Collecting” offers a brief history that contributes to our interest and insight into art collecting in this space.
Moore highlights the long-standing challenges faced by Black artists in gaining recognition and opportunities within the art world. Discrimination, systemic biases, and limited access to influential institutions have historically hindered the success and visibility of Black American artists.
However, Moore’s book also showcases the resilience and creativity of Black artists, who have persistently found ways to create and share their work despite these barriers. It sheds light on the rich cultural heritage and unique artistic expressions that have emerged from the Black American community.
Investing in the Future:
Investing in black artists not only provides financial opportunities but also contributes to creating a more equitable art industry.
Supporting the growth of Black American artists can lead to a more diverse and inclusive representation within galleries, museums, and auction houses. By investing in these artists, investors can play a crucial role in promoting their work and ensuring that their contributions are recognized and valued.
Black Artists are Substantial and so is their work.
If you’re interested in starting an art collection we encourage you to check out our article with Marjorie Hodges.
Konish, L. (2023, February 25). How Representation of Black Artists in Galleries, Museums Is Changing. CNBC.
Carrigan, M. (2022, December 13). Black American Women Artists Represent Just 0.1% of Auction Sales, Report Shows. The Art Newspaper
Burns, C. and Halperin, J. (2019, February 13). For African American Artists, the Market Remains Woefully Unbalanced. Sotheby’s