Some sections of the arts fared poorly under Covid-19 as social distancing kept crowds out of galleries and exhibitions. However, with more people spending time at home, online art sales are booming.

Sales of original art by local artists has taken a massive leap over the last year, according to Avi Efrat (pictured above) who frames some of Australian art’s rising stars and is owner of Fantastic Framing which markets art and provides 40% of the framing costs to artists.

He says art sales have doubled during Covid-19 and that his business saw growth of close to 110% with about 70% of the growth from the sale of original artworks.

Sydney artist George Hall turned his art into a fully virtual experience when Covid struck – something that has proved to be a big positive for sales.

“The image of the artist as struggling in poverty might need a makeover soon. A new wave of artists is using social media to sell their art and to find new clients,” he said.

While traditionally the art buying market has been small and wealthy, Avi Efrat says a new sort of artist and clientele is emerging, the millennial artists and collectors.

“There’s been more focus on domestic aesthetics and art is a talking point. But the marketing of art is bringing it to new audiences as well,” Efrat said.

“So many of the people we are selling to are first time art buyers, which tells you that there’s an appetite for it and we’re bringing art, literally, to the people by showing it to them on their screens then delivering it to their home.”

Bluethumb co-founders Ed and George Hartley.

Edward Hartley, managing director of Bluethumb, Australia’s largest online art gallery, has seen demand increase as working from home, or a split between home and the office, has become the new normal.

“The online art market boom has worked wonders for many in the sector – with many more Bluethumb artists now able to pursue their passion as a full-time career as an artist. As people travelled less and had more time to evaluate their bare walls – many used the spare time to unleash the art collector within and turn their homes into their gallery,” he said.