Magnus Resch has spent many years decoding the opaque art market for both the general public and academia, turning complex social dance into a matter of quantifiable clarity with books such as Management of art galleries and How to become a successful artist.
Resch has a particularly unromantic view of how art works, as one would expect from an economist, entrepreneur, and professor at Yale. This data-focused approach makes him an ideal person for cutting through the confused world of NFT. His new book, co-authored with Tam Green, How to create and sell NFT – a guide for all artistscame out yesterday.
In an interview with ARTnews during NFT.NYC, Resch made illuminating comments about the similarities between the art and NFT markets, why NFT will change the way galleries work, and even predicted what to expect from the volatile NFT market over the next 18 months.
ARTnews: So what drew you to the art market as a start?
Magnus Resch: To fund my education, when I was in my 20s, I started selling art, which made me ask why some galleries are successful and others are not. This question became the focus of my doctoral dissertation.
ARTnews: And what did you find?
Resh: Good luck is concerning everything no connected to art. Уhat an painter creates do not do really matter for theirs Good luck. For galleries, all the work they do is not like that connected to art so what right on gallery successful. In essence, the success of galleries and artists comes down to the network in which they are located. Who you know is more important than what you sell or what you create.
ARTnews: I recently spoke with an NFT collector who said something similar. He said, “It doesn’t matter what it looks like, if there is a strong community behind it, I will buy.”
Resh: It’s not on art world on same? IN the art world thinks bad on on NFT space, because It is only concerning money. Yes, It is true. It is on number one reason why people Buys NFTs: to do money. But on art world, in at least in on Upper part end on on market – and that is a a lot important distinction-on Upper part end on on market is too everything concerning money.
ARTnews: Despite these fundamental similarities, the art world does not want to enter the NFT space.
Resh: I was surprised by that. I was going to an NFT event and saw so few people from the world of traditional art running often and I wondered why. But I understand; in the beginning I didn’t like it either. Suddenly I was surrounded by all these new people, my powers from the world of traditional art no longer played any role. Everything I had built for so many years was out of date. And then there was a whole new technology, a whole new language that I had to learn and understand. It was a challenge, but I went on this trip because I was curious, so I wrote this book.
ARTnews: What are some of the main reasons why people in the art world are reluctant to enter this market? Aesthetics?
Resh: It’s never a discussion of aesthetics. There are several reasons why I think they are reluctant. First, they are excluded because suddenly works by artists they have never heard of before sell for millions of dollars. Second, entry is very difficult: wallets, Metamask, blockchain, these words in themselves can be scary for people. And third, the art world has historically always been slow to adapt to new things. We are satisfied with the status quo. Let’s just continue with this degree of control.
ARTnews: Do you think the art world can afford to ignore NFT?
Solution: The biggest problem in the art market is that we have too many visitors and too few buyers, the number of buyers is declining. And why is that? Because buyers are afraid to enter the art world. It is too elitist, not open to buyers for the first time. If you fail to convince the recruits [to join] in the art world we will all fail. But NFT can help solve this problem. Suddenly there are people who buy because they had full price transparency and automatic access.
ARTnews: What is the impact of this on artists?
Resch: What artists realize is that they can be successful without galleries, 50/50 no longer does. Artists can act like real entrepreneurs, finding and creating their own clients, their own distribution channels. We’ve seen a lot of artists who didn’t make money three years ago, now they’re very rich because they’ve taken their own careers into their own hands instead of relying on someone else. Jen Stark is a good example.
ARTnews: But do artists really want to have that role? And despite everything the galleries get for avoiding shoppers and playing games, isn’t all of this ultimately in the service of putting artists in the best possible collections and hopefully institutions?
ARTnews: Any forecasts on how the NFT market will move in the future?
Resh: Yes. We will see another short jump and then a decline. In 18 months from today the market will stabilize.
ARTnews: Good to know.