The creation of a global market for Colombian contemporary art through valuation and match-making
The global market for contemporary art is not quite as global, but concentrated in a few countries. This centralization notwithstanding, the Colombian art scene has achieved to internationalize to a larger extent in recent years. This article argues that two challenges make reaching a more global audience difficult: convincing international buyers of the value of art from the periphery and match-making of local sellers and international buyers. Based on these two activities, the article develops a four-fold typology of brokers that undertake either valuation, match-making, both, or none of these steps. The article identifies an empirical example corresponding to each of the ideal types, drawing on 36 semi-structured interviews with Colombian art experts. The article highlights the challenges and advantages associated with each type of brokerage. The analysis suggests that transactions are most encouraged if the party that determines the value also organizes the buyer-seller encounter. Match-makers that are not accepted valuators tend to affect the valuation of the good negatively, through their involvement in the transaction. Valuators that do not engage in match-making are helpful in establishing the value of art in Europe and the US, but it is not clear whether or not this results in transactions.
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