The global art market is set to grow from £62bn today to £95bn in 2020, fuelled by emerging markets and online sales channels. However, the explosion of interest has also been followed by a darker development: a wave of forgeries that are flooding the market.
Given how easily forgeries have been traded, art collectors are no longer be satisfied with the traditional invoice and galleries’ assurances of authenticity. In fact, according to The Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2015, 66% of art collectors are afraid of buying a fake.
As the number of forgeries keeps growing, the current process of authentication surely needs changes given the art market is notorious for its information asymmetry and lack of transparency, opinions changing over time, and foundations being besieged with requests and threats of lawsuits. Recent forgery scandals also reveal the limitations of the market and how it continues to be unprotected, exemplified by the Knoedler Gallery, Wolfgang Beltracchi and Sheridan Tandy cases. Lastly, global online art sales create another vulnerability point as a level of acceptable documentation is not commonly recognised.
Though the exact degree of fraud in the fine art market may be never known, it is clear that art collectors, sellers and artists are in need of further protection. Preventive measures such as scientific examination and qualified immunity for properly accredited experts could inhibit and discourage forgers, but provide no solace to the victims of forgeries or fully protect the artists’ creative rights.
Following these needs and challenges, Tagsmart addresses a way forward from the problems of fakes, forgeries, and authentication lawsuits that have plagued the art market in recent years.
Our solution provides verifiable artwork labels, that are irrefutably linked to the artist, the authenticity of the work and the owner. By offering the art market a better, simpler solution to their biggest problems – trust and credibility – our platform validates artwork purchases, assuring art collectors of their origin and the bona fides of the people who sell them.
Tagsmart Certify enables art buyers to purchase with confidence, sellers to grow their market and sales channels, and artists to digitally sign their works and disown forgeries, wherever they are. Our solution provides secure labels uniquely identify artworks using unique technologies combined with verifiable artist signatures, generate digitally secured certificates that both authenticate the work and track ownership changes and consignments, and attach provenance, restoration, exhibition and other updates to your artwork, increasing its value and the pride of ownership.