With galleries shuttered and art exhibitions postponed indefinitely, the global art scene – which generated about US$64.1 billion (S$90.5 billion) in sales in 2019 according to Clare McAndrew, the brains behind The Art Market Report – is suffering.
Museums, art dealers, both big and small, and auction houses have reacted quickly, with many banding together to ride out the crisis. Many major exhibitions, including blue-chip biennale Art Basel Hong Kong, are now hosted virtually, complete with requisite oral narration or a curated Spotify playlist. Eminent auctioneers such as Sotheby’s and Christie’s are also accepting bids online.
Artists, like famed graffitist Banksy, have taken to Instagram to share their depictions of the outbreak. His irreverent impression of rats wreaking havoc in his bathroom – cheekily captioned, “My wife hates it when I work from home” – offer necessary respite from more serious news flooding our feeds.
Other artists’ expressions of the outbreak capture moments unique to the Covid-19 pandemic. Some just hope to share comfort and bring people together in a time of crisis. Regardless, their quarantine oeuvres speak of humanity’s collective hope for the future.
This article first appeared in The Peak.