We have spoken with Charlotte Britton, Key Accounts Manager at Tagsmart, about the relevance of certifying original artworks especially in the digital realm. Tagsmart offers a new provenance service issuing market-leading Certificates of Authenticity now also available on ARTPIQ.
1. What is Tagsmart and why is it unique?
At our core, we are a security company building a new level of trust in art transactions. We have both physical products - our pioneering DNA tags and Certificates of Authenticity - and a digital platform. Our platform allows artists, galleries and agents to catalogue artworks, issue market-leading Certificates and push artworks to retailers for sale. I think what makes us stand out is that we offer a full package. Users are able to do so much both on and off our platform. We about to launch extensive updates that will improve the usability of the site as well as introduce many new features.
2. Why do you think it is important to certify artworks and do you think there is an increasing need for security in the art market today?
A Certificate of Authenticity acts as a passport over time for an artwork, moving with the work when it exchanges hands. It is therefore an essential document that protects both the artist and the collector. There’s no doubt that there is a market need for Certificates, particularly with the growth of the online art market.
3. Do you think this is even more relevant when buying online?
The industry is undergoing some significant changes. Artists, auction houses and galleries are trying to figure out how to embrace and grow the online market. Some are closer than others. We see online retail as becoming a larger part of the art market – but trust is a key component to build that growth. If art is ever to enjoy the kind of market share online that we have seen in other sectors, provenance and authenticity will need to sit at its very heart. That is exciting for Tagsmart as we can play our part in supporting the transformation.
4. Why is a Tagsmart certificate better than other certificates?
A Tagsmart Certificate of Authenticity has a whole host of security features, some of which are visible and some hidden. These range from the artist or gallery’s signature to unique security cuts and more. For obvious reasons we can’t give too much away! Security aside, another benefit of a Tagsmart Certificate is the access that it provides to a digital artwork record. All Certificates have a QR code on them which links to a public artwork record (NB this may be hidden by the artwork owner).
5. What advantages does a collector have by owning a Certificate of Authenticity for their artwork?
In addition to the enhanced security of a Tagsmart Certificate (mentioned above) every Certificate is linked to a digital artwork record with provenance information. All collectors who own a Certificate are able to access this digital record for free via the Tagsmart platform. In the next couple of months we are launching a whole host of new features that collectors can use for free through their Tagsmart account!
6. Are there really a lot of "fake" artworks on the market and how does this apply to the emerging art market?
The most recent Deloitte Art and Finance Report states that 83% of wealth managers see authenticity, provenance, and attribution issues as the greatest risks in the art market. Art professionals are echoing this sentiment, with 81% saying these are major risks to the art market. So the art world’s consensus is that the problem is real! One of the most important things is establishing practices early on that will protect an artist as their market and reputation grows. So the conversations we have with emerging artists are crucial.