Inside the Rise in Demand for Travel Art

Emilee Geist

The Monterey, California–based fine artist Joaquin Turner, whose work focuses on unique landscapes in the Monterey Peninsula, has seen an interest for paintings that capture a sense of place. “I’ve read multiple recent studies that prove that art, whether it be in a gallery, museum, or the home, can have […]

The Monterey, California–based fine artist Joaquin Turner, whose work focuses on unique landscapes in the Monterey Peninsula, has seen an interest for paintings that capture a sense of place. “I’ve read multiple recent studies that prove that art, whether it be in a gallery, museum, or the home, can have a very positive impact on both physical and emotional health,” he says. His newer pieces, painted in more rural and isolated settings, have a more introspective and contemplative feeling, and he has noticed that people—especially collectors who live beyond the immediate area—are more drawn to that subject matter.

A Strong Demand for Travel Photography

Le Rêve d’une Abeille, a photo by James Miille, which sold during the pandemic.

Photo: James Miille

James Miille, a cofounder and managing partner at Superfine! Art Fair, which puts young collectors in touch with cutting-edge works by the world’s top female, Black, queer, and LGBT+ emerging artists, says that he’s been surprised at the level of art sales during the pandemic in general and travel-related art in particular.

“Despite having to pivot and funnel resources into our virtual e-fairs throughout the year, we’ve actually had comparable art sold versus 2019’s Superfine! Art Fairs,” he says, noting that well over $100,000 worth of art has been sold online. “With collectors and buyers having immediate accessibility—art at their fingertips—we’ve seen significant sales across all disciplines and mediums.” Miille adds that he has sold to many new collectors recently.

Some of his photographs that were sold during the pandemic include Between the Leap and the Abyss and Le Rêve d’une Abeille—both from a summer trip to Provence last August, which he describes as “a sweltering hot holiday.” 

Some hospitality-related enterprises have taken the time to partner with photographers so their clients can keep their travel-related memories alive. Chateau Montelena in Napa Valley, California, notes that because of the tasting-room closures in Napa, many people were forced to cancel their trips to California’s wine country; it partnered with photographer Brandon McGanty to a  limited-edition shot of the vineyard’s Jade Lake.

Exhibits With Travel Themes

Beachwalk Dusk, a painting by Mira Lehr.

Photo: Mira Lehr

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