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The Legitimation of Young and Emerging Artists in Digital Platforms: The Case of Saatchi Art

Lee, Jin Woo, Lee, Soo Hee (2022) The Legitimation of Young and Emerging Artists in Digital Platforms: The Case of Saatchi Art. The Journal of Arts Management, Law, and Society, 53 (1). pp. 19-41. ISSN 1930-7799. (doi:10.1080/10632921.2022.2080136) (KAR id:99568)


This article critically examines the way in which the legitimation of emerging artists occurs in the digitalized art market. Based on a conceptual specification of intermediaries’ practices in the legitimation process, we have conducted a case study of Saatchi Art, a pioneering digital platform for trading artworks. We perform a deductive analysis of introduction, interpretation, and selection of artists based on a variety of qualitative data. Our findings show that the legitimacy of selected artists is constructed mainly by Saatchi Art’s curatorial programs. The exclusive practice of granting legitimacy to selected artists by curators stems from symbolic capital- that has accumulated from their career in the conventional art market, thus, implying a close linkage between the offline and online art worlds. Therefore, the disintermediation that is initiated by the digital art platform gives rise to reintermediation due to the necessity of interpreting and endorsing the uncertain value of contemporary artworks and artists.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/10632921.2022.2080136
Uncontrolled keywords: Saatchi Art; digital platform; legitimacy; intermediaries; Charles Saatchi
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5351 Business
N Visual Arts
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Leadership and Management
Funders: University of Kent (
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2023 14:46 UTC
Last Modified: 25 Jan 2023 09:35 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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