CEO of Phillips
CEO Edward Dolman is behind much of Phillips’ success in weathering the pandemic. The auction house’s digital-first strategy gives clients the tools they need to make successful investments. Dolman cites the company’s successful adoption of Articker, a new art market intelligence tool that tracks emerging trends and artists, as one reason for its success. “Our clients will now have a clear advantage on emerging trends before anyone else, and we’re incredibly proud of that,” Dolman told Observer.
No single event defines a company’s success, but Dolman points to an increase in digital engagement by 137 percent, a 40 percent increase in web traffic, and a 66 percent increase in new clients visiting the website. While these numbers may be unsurprising amid a pandemic that shrinks buying options to online-only, their pursuit of great masterpieces stands out. Rather than filling sales with a mix of sought-after work and middle-market material, they listed fewer but more desirable items in their 20th Century and Contemporary sale this July. They achieved a 100 percent sell-through rate by lot and by value.
Looking ahead, Dolman cites their 20th Century and Contemporary sale in November as one to watch. Among other items, Phillips will be auctioning Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Portrait of a-one A.K.A. King (estimate $10 million–$15 million) from 1982, the apex of his career.