This January Talking Galleries will host their 8th Barcelona Symposium at the Museu d’Art Contemporani. Over the last decade the Barcelona symposium has established itself as a seminal platform for art world debate. Taking place over two days, the conference sees professionals from all areas of the art world discuss everything from art gallery management to art market sustainability. This year, on January 20th, our esteemed co-director Joe Kennedy will appear alongside Artsy’s Alexander Forbes, Bureau Schachenmann’s Claudia Schachenmann and Art Net’s Tim Schneider to discuss the relationship between millennials and the art market.
As one of the youngest gallerists in the game, co-founding Unit London at the tender age of 23, Joe Kennedy is bang in the middle of the millennial age spectrum and perfectly poised to offer insights into the habits and trends surroundings millennial collectors. Considering the millennial demographic roughly spans those born between 1981 - 1996 (22-37 years old) it is unsurprising that this is the fastest growing segment of collectors in the art world. Many millennials came of age amidst the financial turmoil of the late noughties and subsequently view art investment as a safe haven in volatile markets, as an asset that can be leveraged to build wealth or as a commodity to be sold quickly for large profits.
There is huge potential for those in the art world to cater for millennials over baby-boomers, despite the smaller sums currently being invested by them. Many galleries, Unit London included, have their ear to the ground, listening to what the future art market is demanding. For example, after a recent Linkedin study declared 42% of people under 35 listen to podcasts, international galleries like David Zwirner and Sean Kelly quickly launched relevant platforms that are becoming increasingly popular. This is a generation that values convenience, digital catalogues that can be accessed later and shared with friends are becoming more common and are perhaps a precursor to VR features that allow people to attend exhibition openings around the world, without leaving their own home. This millennial market is changing the art world and, as data from a US Trust survey suggests, the percentage of women buying art more than doubled, from 16 to 36% suggesting we’ll see an increasingly female led market in the future. It’s going to be a very interesting decade in the art world, one in which millennials like Joe Kennedy will be at the forefront of a changing art scene. Tickets for the talk are available here.