Buyer’s Guide: Art and About

GALLERIES AREN’T THE ONLY PLACES TO SCORE GREAT ART! BRIONY DOWNES GIVES THE INSIDE SCOOP ON BUYING ARTWORK OUTSIDE OF THE GALLERY SPACE.

Installation view of the Hugo Michell Gallery Booth at Sydney Contemporary, 2017

Installation view of the Hugo Michell Gallery Booth at Sydney Contemporary, 2017

IN OUR CONNECTED world, perusing and buying art has never been easier. While the commercial gallery remains a popular option, there are a number of other ways to purchase fantastic original art pieces for your home. Here are four to get you started.

1 ON THE ‘GRAMS

One of the best social media platforms to use when looking for art to purchase is Instagram. Not only does Instagram offer a consistent stream of visuals from artists of your choosing, it gives insights into an artist’s daily life, their making process and the materials they use. If you are interested in making a purchase, artists can usually be contacted through Instagram direct message, or their profile will have a link to a website containing further contact details.

You can also check out the ‘grams of online marketplaces like Etsy, where many young and emerging artists sell fantastic originals at af- fordable prices. And your favourite magazines, like Art Edit!

2 FROM YOUR INBOX

Many artists update regularly via email, so subscribe to their newsletters if you like to stay in the loop. Painter Amica Whin- cop sells her work through galleries and direct to the public via inbox updates. “I make all my available pieces known to collectors on my email list, or if someone contacts me I can show them what I have in my studio,” she says.

“Purchasing through me is a super straight forward process. If a client wants to go ahead and purchase, I send them an invoice with options to pay via their preferred payment method, I package the artwork for delivery and send it directly to them.”

3 AT AN ART FAIR

Art fairs like Sydney Contemporary and The Other Art Fair pro- vide an exciting way to see a lot of art at once and get an immediate idea of current trends. They are large events with hundreds of artists on show and buyers can purchase straight from an artist’s booth or gallery stand.

Andy Dinan, director of Melbourne’s MARS Gallery, recently at- tended Art Central Hong Kong and enjoyed introducing new collectors to a selection of contemporary Australian sculpture. While she admits attending an art fair can be daunting, she suggests making a well-researched plan and keeping check of your stamina. “Don’t rush and remember to take breaks. Eat some food, think of some- thing other than art, so that you can come back to the galleries fresh and open.”

4 IN OPEN STUDIOS

Studio visits are a great way to see work up close and meet the artist behind that fabulous piece you’re keen on. Art Trails, Living Artist Weeks and University Open Days are held in most states throughout Australia and during these events, artists throw open their studios to the public – yet another way to acquire anything from works on canvas to decorative ceramics and sculpture.

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