Looking Forward: Emerging Art Trends for 2022
Looking Forward: Emerging Art Trends for 2022 Image

Looking Forward: Emerging Art Trends for 2022

With January well-underway, it's clear that some changes in the art world are already in motion, and others can be seen approaching on the horizon. Here at Spacey, we've picked out five key trends from experts across industries that we're excited to explore.

Here's a peak into our 2022:

1. We're proving that affordable artwork can be valuable artwork.

Art prints have always been a gateway for new collectors — and in 2022, it's becoming clearer than ever that affordable art can be an accessible and worthwhile investment. According to Forbes, collectibles, including limited-edition prints, are slated to be all the rage this year. “Art editions represent a way for a whole new generation of younger collectors to get a foothold in the art investment scene, without breaking the bank,” Steven Sulley writes. “They are an affordable and accessible way to access highly promising artists without the prohibitive price tag of an original work while also possessing good investment potential — as the reputation of the artist grows, so will the value of the print.”

2. We’re betting on NFTs.

These digital avatars dominated the conversation this year; the new market of non-fungible tokens earned $41B in 2021 (for comparison, the conventional art market earned $50B in 2020). This year is slated to prove whether NFTs are here for a good time or a long time. While much is up in the air about what the future of NFTs may look like, our bet is that they continue to make new and interesting waves for years to come — and we’re not the only ones who think so!

3. We’re going abstract.

According to a recent survey by 1stDibs, abstract art is expected to lead the pack when it comes to style, followed by contemporary art and modern art. 48% of the designers polled also anticipate a renaissance moment for sculpture. 

Why are people gravitating more to abstraction? It's hard to say for sure, but we might guess that it has something to do with many people spending more time in their homes and therefore craving adaptable artwork that they can enjoy for long stretches of time without fatigue; people may tire more quickly of a figurative work than an open-ended abstract work that goes with any decor and leaves additional room for interpretation. 

Since our founding, many of the artworks Spacey Studios has offered have been abstract, and we're excited to continue working with new and established artists to shape the future of this field. 

4. We're mixing online & IRL.

Over the last few years, the art world has made a concerted effort to catch up to 21st century consumers by bringing more experiences and shopping online. Now, we're seeing a resurgence in interest for tangible IRL retail experiences. Like all things in life, what's needed is a balance between the two — what Forbes calls Hybrid Retail. "For many years, retailers have been gaining a more sophisticated understanding of the customer buying journey, and how it crosses from online to offline, sometimes several times, before a purchase is made. This has underlined the need for truly hybrid retail, being adopted by large and small retailers alike." 

This model of Hybrid Retail applies to art, too. We expect to see galleries and museums continue to invest in digital-first experiences like virtual exhibitions; and we also anticipate that digital-first art companies will be looking to provide a place for collectors to gather and experience artwork in person. (On this note: keep an eye out for something special coming soon from Spacey!)


5.  We’re taking art personally.

​“I think people, now more than ever, want pieces that speak to them personally,” Sean Anderson told Veranda. In 2022, we expect to see an even greater emphasis on personalization, whether thats in choosing limited-edition artworks that resonate on an individual level, or commissioning one-of-a-kind pieces custom made for the collector. 

L.A.-based designer Sean Leffers also notes in Veranda that there's "a trend away from collecting as a status symbol and a renewed focus on collecting based on one’s affinities and desire to support particular artists as we’ve all craved meaning and personal connection more than ever in the last few years.”

The 1stDibs survey seems to support this notion that when it comes to art. Industry professionals report that clients of designers "care more about style than price or creating a long-term investment.”

Ultimately it’s not about conforming to the latest trends or buzz — it’s about art that makes you feel good in your spaces — and that's a resolution we can get behind.