Who collects art? Where do they live, how old are they, how many of them are there, and what do they like to buy? These are questions that most people who gravitate towards art as an industry have asked themselves. Now, thanks to a new report compiled by Larry's List and published by Publishers for Modern Art, Vienna, the answers are revealed.
The most wide-reaching report on collectors of contemporary art, the document is based on profiles and data from around 10,000 active private collectors from 71 countries: the profiles of 3,111 of those are visible on the website. The research was conducted by a team of 25, led by Magnus Resch, a 30-year-old German based in Hong Kong. Resch told us his aim was to set "a starting point for providing some transparency on one of the most powerful driving forces in the art market today."
There are a few surprises among the stats: in terms of cities, you might have imagined Shanghai or Beijing to be the latest places where most collectors reside, but New York is still home to the most collectors in the world (9% of the share, with the US as a whole housing 25%), followed by London at 6%, and in third place, the emerging art center, São Paulo, with 3%. In real terms, this mean New York City alone has more collectors than the whole of the UK. Artists, it's time to start looking for a leaky garrett in Bushwick again... Or head to Germany, which as a country hogs 9% of art collectors.
The list also suggests collector impact on where artists will come from, as major collectors have the influence to bolster superstar artists. With China and Brazil earmarked as the fastest growing markets by the report, the list predicts the next global successes to emerge from those regions.
And it's not only by buying art that collectors create big names, but as the list also reveals, the fact that many private collectors also own their own independent exhibition spaces, forging even greater public influence. 12% of collectors listed own their own space, many fulfilling the role of a public museum in areas where those are lacking.
Perhaps not so surprising, the vast majority of collectors (71%) are men, with an average age of 59. Like, duh.
The full report can be ordered at www.larryslist.com.