Me Art, a Canary Wharf-based art dealership, have become one of the first in the world to offer clients and prospective buyers the option to view and buy art simultaneously, in physical and virtual art experiences. Following the successful launch of its virtual gallery in June this year, the dealership has launched a physical space within its existing premises to allow customers the option to experience art buying as it suits them.
Me Art has a niche in selling investment-grade artwork of contemporary, pop and street artists. They have recently launched their latest exhibition which runs until 12 December and features a range of prominent artists, such as, Mr Brainwash, Keith Harring, Jean-Michael Basquiat, and Richard Hambleton.
The dealership is confident that their virtual-first service, alongside increasing consumer preferences towards buying high-value items online, will help them challenge traditional gallery players, who are burdened with high overheads and other operational costs. Coronavirus has additionally served a hard blow to traditional galleries, as lockdown restrictions have created a drop in footfall in popular art buying districts that is unlikely to return for a long time.
Talking to the dealership’s director and owner Joseph Lewis, he commented that “consumers have been moving towards buying more online for years, even for high value items and luxury goods. Coronavirus has only expedited this trend. Many of the traditional art players have been impacted badly by both coronavirus and move to online; given their reliance on selling artwork physically it has unfortunately put them on the back foot.
Me Art saw this trend early on, creating a high-quality virtual gallery experience allowing customers to view art on their computers, as if they were seeing it in the flesh. The opening of the physical space is to complement the last stage of the buying process, giving customers the opportunity to feel the work and speak to our trusted experts in-person before committing to purchase work. We believe our ‘best of both worlds’ approach will serve customers well in this new and unpredictable world, where regular lockdowns could seemingly become the norm”
Mr Lewis further added that “art has come into its own this year as an investment, with many HNWI looking to protect their wealth from historically low bank interest-rates and volatile financial markets. In most cases, investment grade art can deliver annual returns of 10 percent or more in most cases – performing far better than money in the bank or investing in the financial markets. We are pleased to offer investment-grade art at a broad range of price points, making these returns accessible for the everyday person.”