London-based antiques dealer Michael Backman discusses art and technology

LONDON — The Curator’s Eye, a distinctive online platform for the finest art and antiques from distinguished dealers across the globe, recently discussed the evolving role of the Internet in the art market with leading London-based dealer Michael Backman. In addition to maintaining a gallery space for his Islamic, Indian, Chinese, Tribal and Southeast Asian offerings, Backman has incorporated and embraced technology into his business model.

Michael Backman

In his view, “The Internet is an extraordinary way of developing and uniting a disparate client base. I can be in touch with clients from Peru to Mongolia all from my desk in London.” Backman uses as a marketing tool rather than a direct selling site. “After the initial introduction takes place, I engage the potential collectors with my newsletters and monthly new offerings, which are being received well.”

As the recent International Art Industry Forum in Vienna proclaimed, the art world is currently undergoing a “watershed moment in the convergence of the art business and digital technology.” A panel convened to discuss “how new enterprises are creating business opportunities and transforming established art-businesses.” As a digital art marketing platform, The Curator’s Eye integrates into the current structure of the high-end art world and helps private dealers expand their global customer base for their remarkable objects.

However, as Backman noted, “Selling art and antiques is as much about relationships as it is about objects.” He recounted, “One client was born in a longhouse in the jungles of Borneo. He is not a collector so much as he was looking for traditional Iban heirlooms to pass onto his children. The family had exhausted its supplies of their traditional art and so he contacted me via the Internet to acquire more. This is certainly an example of how The Curator’s Eye, with its global reach, can be a significant tool for dealers.”

Michael Backman Ltd gallery in London.

As the art world expands into emerging markets and younger generations do more and more research online, The Curator’s Eye is poised to facilitate these initial virtual connections. Today, collectors from Monaco, India, France, Brazil, and Russia are among the registered users from more than 80 countries.

Browse The Curator’s Eye.

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