There have been rumors of Amazon selling fine art for some time now and at some point last night, the marketplace went live, offering more than 40,000 works from over 4,500 artists supplied by more than 150 galleries and dealers.
The works range from relatively affordable artworks to the multi-million dollar price range. At the moment, the store only offers two-dimensional works and conveniently coordinated their debut with the 85th birthday of legendary artist Andy Warhol. Two of Warhol’s works are among the top five highest-priced pieces currently offered. Surely, Warhol would approve, once saying: “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” Happy Birthday, Andy.
An Amazon fine art marketplace was inevitable and this is not the first time the company has dealt with the concept of selling artwork. After walking away from a deal with an exclusive deal with Sotheby’s years ago Amazon has decided to base its sales model in the same way it does when working with wineries: Amazon will take a commission form each sale, ranging from 5-20% depending upon the price of the work in question.
It may be too soon to tell how this new marketplace will effect the overall online artwork sales, but several web-based marketplaces such as Paddle8 and Artspace have already proven to be a force to reckoned within the online art market.
Here’s a selection of the top five highest priced works in the store (in the gallery above), complete with their multi-million-dollar price tags. Many even include free shipping! What a bargain!