Subject Matter Art

05.30.2016

A guide by Subject Matter: How to Buy Art

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If you aren’t already familiar with the art world, welcome – it’s a whole new universe in which to immerse yourself. At the beginning, it can be a bit daunting, nevertheless, we do not bite.

Visit galleries, museums, blogs and art fairs. If you prefer to do your research with your feet up and accompanied by a glass of wine, the online gallery world is booming.

Whether the artwork will be hanging in your home or office, you will see it every day. Does it have a story and do you really connect with it?

See as much art as you can: online, in galleries, museums, art fairs and student shows . The more art you see, the more you will develop an eye for what you like. Knowledge can help put things in context and help develop your taste in art.

 

Work out where you will place the art-piece and measure it, to make sure it fits the space. If you are considering buying an extra large piece make sure to measure the door and space up the stairs too – otherwise it might not fit!

 

Sales platforms vary. Collectors are no longer limited to their local gallery or auction house. Many galleries cater to a global market of collectors through an online space.

Also view online art marketplaces such as Artnet, Artsy and Artsper, to compare what different galleries have to offer.

 

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Consider this; are you supporting the career, creativity and health of the artist through your purchase? If buying from a gallery, try to get an idea of the flexibility this artist has with their gallery and how much commission the gallery takes from the artist.

 

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Once you have chosen your artwork, explore how flexible the gallery is. Many galleries should have a 6-month trial period in case an artwork isn’t as well suited to a space as you first imagined. Galleries also offer free shipping and free returns, so make sure to enquire about the sales conditions. Finally, create a file for yourself with your top five pieces, in either printed format or digital (such as ArtStack or Pinterest!).

 

It is totally acceptable to ask a gallery what their best price is. The contract between dealer and artist usually permits the dealer to lower the price of an artwork up to a certain percentage. The artist only gets a proportion of the price, sometimes as much as half but often less, depending on the gallery. So the less you pay the less the artist would get.

 

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This cannot be stressed enough. Throughout the process, make sure to keep the receipt, invoice, documentation and authenticity certificate from the seller. These will provide the provenance (authenticity) of the artwork and are crucial when valuing the art piece in future.

 

Share the joy of buying an art piece with your friends and family, and encourage them to give it a try too. Share with them your learnings and your resources. The more art we buy, the more artists can make a living.

 

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Keep in touch with the development of the artist. Make sure to ask the artist or curator to add you to the gallery’s newsletter, this way you will be the first to find out about new work and exhibitions of the artist you invested in.

 

 

We want you to experience the joy of buying an original art piece. We therefore make the process as easy as possible, let us show you how.

Contact us for a free consultation: hello@subjectmatterart.com

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