The art market has gained momentum after two years of stagnation and it is preparing to become a competitor for the stock exchange with high yields. With the $450-million sale of Leonardo da Vinci's Jesus Christ painting, "Salvator Mundi," the art market has come to the fore once again.
The size of the world's art market has reached $80 billion with some 75 million collectors. The recession in the Turkish art market in the past two years is slowly declining, with paintings becoming one of the most important investment instruments after the stock market, foreign exchange and gold.
The first traces of this appeared at Contemporary Istanbul, which was held in Istanbul last September, bringing together 73 galleries, including 42 foreign ones, and about 1,500 interested people in art. Throughout the event, more than 80,000 people visited the fair where $60 million worth of art was put up for sale.
A total of 53 percent of pieces at Contemporary Istanbul were sold this year. Even the pieces that were offered for sale for as much as $500,000 at the exhibition attracted great interest and were bought. The total sales revenue is estimated to be between $ 25 million and $30 million.
Ali Güreli, the founder of Contemporary Istanbul, said, "Despite the slowdown in the sector for two years, the fair has been very active this year, and sales will reach a much better point in the coming months if stability continues in the economy and growth continues at 5 percent."
Pieces by younger painters have begun to attract great interest in the painting market in recent years. Authorities of the art world regard such painters as artists who will be world-famous over the next 10 years to 15 years. Among them are Burcu Perçin, Emin Mete Erdoğan, Erinç Seymen, Gözde İlkin, Aylin Zaptçıoğlu, Yağız Özgen, Fırat Engin, Ahmet Doğu İpek, Volkan Aslan, Çağatay Odabaş, Ali Alışır and Hayal Pozantı, whose work has been exhibited and sold at international fairs and auctions in Dubai, London and Basel.
Among them, Perçin is striving to address social problems and environmental problems by generally portraying abandoned factories, warehouses, shipyards and stone and marble quarries. She illustrates artificial nature scenes and intensive construction together in some of her pieces. The most outstanding of Perçin's pieces are "Light in the Bottom" (Dipteki Işık) and "Multiplication Table" (Çarpım Tablosu).
Touching on the rise of new generation painting, Perçin said, "Art should be seen as a long-term instrument of investment. If we look at the piece that is bought like a stock listed on a stock market, we cannot see the actual service it provides. Of course, people who invest in art and support it will always have the greatest moral and material gain."
Erdoğan, another young painter, graduated from the Painting Department of Marmara University Fine Arts Faculty in 2010. His pieces were showcased at Miami Pulse in 2013, Art Stage Singapore in 2016, Art Dubai in 2016 and Contemporary Istanbul's Art International fairs from 2013 to 2016.
In addition to young painters on the rise, pieces by world-renowned artists such as Haluk Akakçe and Franz Ackerman also attracted attention.
Güreli said that value-added tax (VAT) should be reduced for the development of the Turkish art market, adding, "In this way, the market can grow even more. The reduction of VAT to 1 percent from its current 18 percent would double dynamism in the market. Such a regulation would lead artists, whose works have been sold to produce more, paving the way for production and employment."
Hazer Özil, the owner of Dirimart Gallery House, which participated in the exhibition, said that the fair has been very good this year. Pointing to the great interest and record participation and sales, Özil expressed his happiness with the dynamism in the market, saying, "It will be much better in the near future."
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