Millennials definitely approach the world very differently than previous generations, especially in how they spend their time and money. Much to older generations’ surprise, many millennials are now investing their savings in the arts. In fact, 20- and 30-somethings now make up approximately one quarter of the active art collector market.
Much like anything else with the millennial generation, technology is impacting the ways in which they invest in artistic endeavors.
Last year, nearly 80 percent of all millennial collectors acquired art pieces online. Thanks to platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, young adults can easily discover new art. Then, they can connect with the sellers in just a few clicks. However, many millennials can barely afford decent housing, let alone extravagant works of art.
This is where a new form of art purchasing comes in with Otis: equity investments.
The art investment app Otis offers individuals the opportunity to be a part of the collectible market on their own terms. Essentially, Otis works like a stock market for artistic works and other collectibles. The company procures items, then sells shares to the public for as little as $25. Once the initial investment phase ends, individuals can buy or sell shares from each other. And since part of the appeal is the experience, all items divided by Otis will remain on display in a space in East Village, New York. Much like stock purchases, Otis investors don’t get a physical item in exchange for their money, but instead buy into the financial performance of the collection.
Although this may sound a little bit kooky, their current list of assets that’ll hit the market starting this week is legit. The first item slated for investment? A Kehinde Wiley painting titled “Saint Jerome Hearing the Trumpet of the Last Judgement.”
Otis will open share purchasing for the Wiley painting on August 13, then continue adding items with individual drops.
Before the app launched for download on Apple and Android devices last week, the company had approximately 25,000 interested individuals who signed up for a release waitlist. Currently, Otis says it has 10 items available for preview. These collectibles include works by KAWS, Murakami x Virgil Abloh, Yayoi Kusama, and fnnch, as well as Nike Air MAGS, Supreme skateboards, Incredible Hulk 181 comic, Hermes Birkin bag, and a Rolex 6265 Daytona.
Otis hopes that their platform will turn millennials who love art and collectibles into discerning shareholders. As Otis says, “Invest in the things that you value, and whose value you understand, and build a portfolio better suited to a museum than a stock ticker.”
Is this the wave of the future in art? Will a stock market approach to collectibles take off well with a generation who loves individuality and nostalgia? Only time will tell. But if you’re interested in joining this movement, you can find out more on their website www.withotis.com or follow @with_otis on Instagram.