The Online Global Art Market Around The World

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Florence Whittaker

Florence Whittaker, Urban Art Specialist & Sales Director[email protected]

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Investing in art, just like any other financial investment, needs to be considered carefully with a lot of research to be able to achieve successful returns. Art investments are growing in popularity and it doesn’t seem to be a passing fad.

In 2019, the value of the global art market was £46.2billion ($64.12billion), with a total of 40.5million transactions. Due to the uncertainty caused by recent factors such as Brexit and the pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of people exploring new finance ventures. The resilience of the art world means that through precarious times, the market has been able to recover better than other industries and therefore offers a safer investment option.

We’ve investigated the size of the global art market from 2013 and reveal the world’s most popular artists.

The online global art market is predicted to increase by 494% by 2024

Art investment continues to be a lucrative industry, and despite the change in climate caused by the pandemic, investment is by no means slowing down, but merely adapting. With galleries and collections forced to close due to Government guidelines, investors looked toward the online market and the potential that was there.

There are a few factors that have contributed to the rise of the online art market, one being the trepidation of walking into a white-walled gallery is reduced and has increased its accessibility to younger generations or less experienced investors looking for an introduction to collecting, allowing the market to grow. This increased accessibility has meant that now these online sales are documented and there is more transparency in terms of costs and prices.

The graphic below highlights the growth in the online art market from 2013, predicting how this will change in 2024 – a prediction that may come as shock.

The Global Online Art Market

The most popular artists around the world

Everybody from different generations, backgrounds and culture has a favourite artist or one that intrigues and fascinates them. Whether this is from a memory at the first gallery you ever visited or a connection with a specific piece of work.

We have analysed over 100 of the biggest artists from ArtNet and MyArtBroker to reveal the most Googled artist in each country –so who comes out on top?

The results show a clear battle between Banksy and Picasso to be crowned the most popular in the world, with Banksy being the most popular in 30 European countries such as the UK, Finland and Switzerland. Banksy’s popularity does not stop there as they appear as the most popular in the UK and more remote places like Madagascar and New Zealand. Picasso’s popularity is worldwide in places like Egypt, Nigeria and even the Maldives, however, Picasso’s home country of Spain has a soft spot for the anonymous artist, Banksy. While the people in Belgium are fond of contemporary artist Keith Haring. Interestingly, pop artist Andy Warhol is popular in South America, specifically Argentina and Chile not far from where he was born, the USA.

We have analysed data following the value of the online art market worldwide from 2013 to show the growth and potential future for online art investments, we have also analysed over 100 top artists from around the world using Google search volume data to identify each country’s most popular artist.

The Most Googled Artists

The rising investment in the Japanese art market

Artists such as KAWS attract a lot of interest in Japan, a country with a growing art market. Since 2017, the overall market size of the art industry in Japan has grown ¥33billion, with the top 5 leading international fine artists based on domestic auction turnover in Japan in 2019 are Kaws, Bernard Buffet, Andy Warhol, Maurice Utrillo and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

While Banksy doesn’t appear in this list, Banksy’s artwork is increasingly becoming more globally appealing, spreading across all four corners of the world.

The Japanese art market size has increased by 7% from 2016 to 2019. In 2019, the market size was made up of Japanese style paintings at ¥51,3billion, western artwork was ¥43.4billion and contemporary ¥31.7billion showing an appetite for these modern artworks. The market size of artworks in Japan in 2019 was made up of ¥98.2billion from art galleries and ¥19.2billion from online websites. The largest art industry market size in Japan in 2019 was purchased from domestic businesses with ¥227billion.

We’re a leading authority in the market for modern and contemporary art, specialising in the works of Banksy, Hirst, Miller, Warhol, Lichtenstein, Haring and KAWS. You can browse our current artwork available here.


We used Google’s Keyword Planner (searching all languages) to establish the average monthly search volume in each country for a list of artists from MyArtBroker and ArtNet for over 870 destinations. Each searched for the artist was then assigned to a country to provide a total search volume. The most searched for the artist in each country was then chosen as the top artist. In cases of tied search volumes, the artist that was first alphabetically was chosen. Investment data is taken from Statista.

*Forecast. The global online estimate is based on publicly available sales figures, as well as sales estimates collected from a survey of the main online art and collectable sales platforms mentioned in the appendix of the source. These online art sales platforms do not represent the entire population of online art and collectable sales businesses, therefore estimates are likely to be on the conservative side. All data was pulled during March 2021 and search volumes are a monthly average from the last 12 months. All data available on request.

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