Sharing Bacon: Fractionalization Reshaping the Art Investment Landscape

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Published on
July 12, 2023

Fractionalization and tokenization of art are revolutionizing the way people invest in and own artwork. These innovative approaches, which involve selling shares or creating digital tokens representing ownership in art, are gaining popularity and opening up new possibilities in the art market

One prominent player in this space is the Artex Stock Exchange, co-founded by financiers Prince Wenceslas von Liechtenstein and Yassir Benjelloun-Touimi. Their latest venture aims to make art investment accessible to a wider audience. Their first acquisition is the renowned artwork "Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer" by Francis Bacon, originally purchased for $52 million at Christie's auction house in 2017. Today, this triptych is valued at $55 million. The Artex Stock Exchange allows investors to purchase shares in the Bacon artwork for as little as $100, enabling them to participate in its ownership and potential future appreciation.

While the Artex Stock Exchange operates in the real world, many other platforms leverage blockchain technology for their fractional art investments. These platforms aim to tap into the estimated $3.3 trillion value of the global art market, making it more accessible to investors and art enthusiasts alike. Mintus, based in the UK, caters to qualified investors who contribute a minimum of $3,000. On the other hand, Masterworks in the US targets retail investors, offering them an opportunity to own shares in renowned artworks. Another upcoming platform, Weng Art Invest, focuses on trading art editions in the form of digital tokens.

In this rapidly evolving landscape, other unconventional platforms are emerging. The Rat, based in Ras Al-Khaimah, one of the smaller emirates in the UAE, is venturing into the world of digital experiences using tokens like the Rare Antiquities Token and FND Token. Meanwhile, Particle, founded by former Christie's rainmaker Loïc Gouzer, encourages investors to not only own shares but also develop a deep appreciation for the art itself. Artrium takes a unique approach by allowing collectors to buy shares in artworks displayed in museums, providing them with the joy of being involved in the art world.

As fractional art investment gains momentum, it is crucial for potential investors to consider the associated risks. Pierre Valentin, a renowned art law expert, emphasizes the need for thorough due diligence, provenance research, proper insurance coverage, and effective management and storage of the artworks. Additionally, decision-making processes regarding the resale of fractionalized art should be carefully considered. Valentin advises investors to evaluate opportunities diligently and ensure the offering team has the necessary background and experience.

The rise of fractionalization and tokenization in the art market is transforming the way art is owned, traded, and appreciated. With increased accessibility and new investment models, art enthusiasts and investors have exciting opportunities to participate in the art world like never before.

Références :
1. Adam, G. (2023, July 6). Sharing the Bacon: how fractionalisation is taking the art market by storm.
The Art Newspaper - International Art News and Events.

2. ARTEX MTF AG : Francis Bacon to be the First Artist Traded on ARTEX. (2023, May 31).