• gerard van weyenbergh

Almost half of artists lost more than 50% of their income in 2020

A survey by the Society of Graphic and Plastic Arts Authors ( ADAGP ) provides interesting numbers on the impact of the crisis on artists. The survey is all the more useful since it is recent (January 25 to February 5), especially since 2,135 artists responded.

Unsurprisingly, 86% of the artists surveyed claim to have suffered a drop in their income in 2020, in all areas: sale of works, copyright, salaries, commissions. More worrying, 46% of respondents have suffered a greater decline at 50%. Cancellations of events (concerning 75% of respondents), exhibitions, conferences, or workshops partly explain this loss. A small percentage (14%), however, said they had increased their income since 2019.

48% of artists have benefited from emergency aid put in place through the National Solidarity Fund to the point that 15% said that this aid represented the main part of their income, even before the sale of works and the right author. Among the 1,027 artists who received aid, we note that 13% have benefited from the mechanisms of the National Center for Plastic Arts (CNAP) .

One figure is very revealing; the sale of works of art is the main source of income for only 23% of artists. We do not know this pre-crisis figure, and we do not know if the panel is representative. Still, it clearly shows the dependence of artists on other sources of income, particularly copyright, which constitutes the main income for 18% of artists.

While for most of those polled, this emergency aid needs to be improved (57% of respondents say they are ineligible for aid measures), in particular by becoming more accessible through a relaxation of conditions, they largely agree to say that the best way to help the artistic sector remains the reopening of cultural venues .

ADAGP is the French society for collecting and distributing copyright in the field of graphic, plastic, and photographic arts. Founded in 1953, it represents more than 200,000 authors in all disciplines of the visual arts: painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design, comics, street art, video art. © Marion Pedram for Le Journal des Arts