London gallery says collectors can live with artworks before buying them

George Osodi, ‘De money (Obuasi Chief)’ (2009) © Image Courtesy of TAFETA Gallery.

LONDON: While professionals in the art world are envisioning a post-pandemic slump, TAFETA has announced a new initiative to attract indecisive collectors.

The London-based gallery, specialised in modern and contemporary African art, has recently launched the “SixforSix” initiative.

TAFETA offers the opportunity for collectors to live with up to three pieces from their “SixforSix” collection for six weeks.

The “SixforSix” collection features pieces by Arinze Stanley, Babajide Olatunji, George Osodi and more, with asking prices ranging between £800 and £8,000.

Following this trial period, prospective buyers can decide whether or not they want to make a purchase.

While collectors can make a single discounted payment, the London gallery has also announced that payments can be arranged in a series of instalments spread out over six months.

“We take on all of the risk. The burden is on the gallery, not the collector,” Ayo Adeyinka, the owner and director of Tafeta, told Artnet News of the newly launched initiative, which is currently reserved to UK residents.

Although collectors are increasingly turning to digital sales in reaction to the Covid-19 pandemic, establishing trust remains crucial for sellers offering art in online platforms

According to the 2019 edition of the Online Art Trade Report, the inability to physically inspect the work is cited as one of the main reasons preventing them from buying art online.

While the lack of physical access to an artwork has been particularly challenging with the current social-distancing restrictions, Lisson Gallery is using augmented reality to help collectors imagine what pieces would look like inside their homes.

Lisson has partnered with the software company Augment to adapt their augmented reality platform to “meet the standards and quality of the art world.”

The platform offers prospective buyers the opportunity to place one of 100 available works into their own personal environments and virtually share a 3D scene to be viewed and edited by others.

“While initially planned as a licensed Lisson Gallery app, we have fast-tracked the development and decided to make the technology available to all, with a subscription, given the closure of most galleries during the current global pandemic,” Lisson Gallery’s Executive Director Alex Logsdail said in statement.

“Our hope is that Augment can be beneficial to the business beyond the current situation.

“In a time when galleries should be more conscious about our impact, it solves the problem of shipping works for approval, which can be expensive, complicated and wasteful.”