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Global art market grows by 60% in turnover, fuelled by NFTs

Table of Contents
  1. NFT art and the art market

According to the most recent report released by Artmarket, the industry in question has exploded by 60%, and it is in great part down to NFTs. The data house further states that the migration of the art market into the virtual sphere of the Internet is now a reality on all 5 continents. It now almost relegates the need for physical auction rooms to history.

NFT art and the art market

It is not a secret that it is the art world that NFTs have affected the most. Non-fungible tokens have put power back in the artists’ hands, allowing for art to be sold, not copied. Another perk of the blockchain is that it became a gateway through which the creators can now reach a much wider audience base. 

One should note that the report does not cover general NFT movement that is filled with NFT collections set for an obvious rug pull. Instead, it concentrates on the data supplied by over 6000 auction houses across the world, taking into account only meaningful participants. As per Thierry Ehrmann of, and its Artprice department:

“Web 2.0 made it possible to be on the Internet. Web 3.0 is now happening in the Internet. During 2021, with COVID taking so many lives and completely dominating our daily lives and vocabulary, the famous Collins dictionary still considered the word “NFT” to be the most important “word of the year”. 

Highly controversial, the term is important not just for having been on everyone’s lips, but because it carries within it the seeds of a digital revolution that is impacting the art market in a way we haven’t seen in five centuries. That is why our 2021 Art Market Report begins with this term.”

To fully comprehend the historical impact of NFTs on the art world in 2021, we must go back to the Renaissance when a similar paradigm shift occurred. Thanks to Johannes Gutenberg’s printing house, artists were – for the first time – able to print their first editions. This represented a major transfer of power into the hands of artists.

art market and nfts
Global turnover from fine art auctions

This evolution allowed artists – for the first time in history – to generate income and to control their own production in their workshops and factories. Today with NFTs, we are experiencing a similar paradigm shift with the same historical importance.

The Metaverse is not about 3D or 2D. It is about the dematerialization of the physical state to a new world where once impossible experiences are now accessible.

During this 21st century of Enlightenment, the art world will be reconfigured around the creation and the virtual (but very real) economy, finally providing the necessary support for a much larger population of creators.

Singularity remains the most beautiful signature, even in the virtual world of the Metaverse.

The dematerialization of the Art Market via the Internet took roughly 30 years. With the world of NFTs and the Metaverse, the internet is no longer just a transit vehicle for the Art Market… it is where the art itself will be created and exchanged. We are entering a totally new dimension. 

Art Market growth statistics

  1. Global art auction turnover reached $17.08 billion, a 60% increase versus 2020.
  2. Turnover from Fine Art sales in the West rose 68% to a total of $10.9 billion.
  3. Revenue from Fine Art sales in China grew 43% to a total of $5.9 billion.
  4. The number of lots exchanged in auctions worldwide reached an all-time record of 663,900 up 29%.
  5. The average price of the lots sold was $25,730 and the median price was $930.
  6. The unsold rate contracted to 31% thanks mainly to online sales.
  7. The Contemporary Art index showed a +3% growth.
  8. Contemporary Art accounted for 20% of the Art Market, compared to 3% in 2000.

The data published in this article is supplied by Cision

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