Digital Media in the Visual Art World: A Renewed Relationship with the Market

  • Guillaume SiroisEmail author


This chapter considers the media coverage provided by two digital platforms, Artsy and Artnet, which merge two activities traditionally kept apart in the visual art world: selling works of art and writing about them. This model raises questions about the independence of such media production vis-à-vis the market and the professional positions of writers. By comparing the new model to the classical conceptualization of art criticism, the chapter shows how this media production differs from the traditional art magazine. Indeed, art critics have been conceived as key agents in the process of legitimizing art, as they elaborate aesthetic arguments that contribute to establish its artistic and economic value. The chapter provides a detailed analysis of media content produced by Artsy and Artnet that demonstrates their lack of engagement in such aesthetic discussions. They rather favor the topicality of an artistic production as the main criterion guiding their editorial program. Ultimately, this new model corresponds to the introduction of branded content in the visual art world. Branded content is designed here to educate the public, since the expansion of the art market is foreseeable only if prospective customers have the knowledge required to appreciate the artistic and economic value of pieces.


Digital media Artsy Artnet Branded content Art criticism 


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© The Author(s) 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université de MontréalMontrealCanada

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