Amazon ‘to sell fine art’

It is perhaps surprising to remember that the multinational commerce company Amazon, which was founded in 1995 by Jeff Bezos, began life as an online bookstore, such is its customary ability to today deliver an expansive and near-limitless range of things.
For you not to be able to find anything your consumer heart so desires, be it gargantuan, paper-thin LED TVs, one of Apple’s latest handled, supremely intelligent gizmos, retro-inspired classy teapots or practical tools like a tap measure, something would surely be amiss.
Like Google made information universal, Amazon made shopping easy as pie. It is one of the original success stories of the internet and continues to be a compelling and flourishing business.
This is because it thrives on its ability to adapt, to diversify its product-range, to become much more than just a retail space, but a brand, a pioneer in product development and a force for change.
So, while it may seem incredulous that it wants to branch out into the world of fine art, if placed against its own backdrop of ingenuity and risk taking, the early, impulsive response of derision and befuddlement soon evaporates into something more understanding. This is a “very Amazon” thing to do.
The Art Newspaper reported that the company is looking to launch an online art gallery sometime later this year, effectively transforming it into a sort of digital art dealer-auctioneer hybrid.
According to reports, around 109 art galleries have already signed up to the scheme, which will see Amazon offer around 1,000 works of art, which we can only presume will be competitively priced.
It is speculated – the company has not made any formal announcement just yet – that the Seattle-based business will not charge galleries a monthly fee for selling works, and instead take a commission from sales made via its space.
It’s clearly aimed at independent art institutions and dealers, many of whom lack the ability to be truly visible to the rest of the world on their own respective websites. Amazon thus becomes a way in which they gain greater exposure to a wider, more global base of customers.
“Of course the profit-sharing arrangements would have to be favourable enough to make it worth signing on, and the gallery from which we received the announcement is mid-level, not a start-up,” stated the online art and culture publication Hyperallergic.
“Who knows, maybe ‘Amazon Art’ will help turn the broader public into an art-loving one, or maybe it’ll squeeze the middle of the market even tighter — or maybe no one in the art world will really care at all.”
Cadogan Tate has extensive experience in delivering bespoke storage solutions for all types of art.