Art is an incredible way to showcase your style, tastes and support artists, but it’s also something that many of us don’t think of actually purchasing due to the cost, not knowing the current artists, or even where to find it.
To help us better understand shopping for art on a budget, we spoke with Vanessa Seis, art expert and Fall Fair Director of the Affordable Art Fair NYC, a company that celebrates the idea that art is for everyone. Read on to check out more in our recent interview, and be sure to check out the Affordable Art Fair NYC from September 14 through the 17th!
Tips on Shopping for Art on a Budget
Weekend Jaunts: Can you really buy art on a budget?
Vanessa Seis: Absolutely! There is a variety of artwork out there for everyone, even on a budget, as long as you do your research. A great way to get a feeling for what’s within your price range is to visit an art fair like the Affordable Art Fair NYC. At our fair, all artworks are priced between $100 and $10,000 and all pieces on view have wall labels that show the price, so you can quickly get a sense for what’s within your budget. With 67 galleries showcasing over 400 original contemporary artists—there is something for everyone! We also have a feature called the “Under $500 Wall,” where you can see a selection of works priced under $500. You will be amazed by what’s out there!
An important factor to consider when buying on a budget is the type of artist you are buying artwork from. Are they emergent talent or an established artist? Generally, works by an emerging artist will be more affordable than works by an established artist but the best way to approach this is to research the artist you are interested in so you have a better understanding of their background.
Size is also another factor. For example, if you find a piece by an artist that you love and it’s outside your price range, approach the gallery and ask if there is a smaller piece available for a lower price. It would be more NYC apartment friendly, anyway! You can also consider limited edition works like photographs, prints or sculpture. These artworks can be priced lower due to the fact that they are editioned pieces, which is great because limited-edition works still have the feeling that you are purchasing an artwork that is rare.
And if you do end up finding art that is above you price range, ask the gallery if they offer payment plans in installments. This makes the higher priced more financially digestible.
Weekend Jaunts: What are some of your tips for someone who wants to purchase their first piece of art? How can attending the Affordable Art Fair NYC help someone better understand and buy art?
Vanessa Seis: If you are a new art buyer, one of the biggest takeaways from your visit to Affordable Art Fair NYC is the exposure to artists and mediums that will help tailor your artistic eye and the specific genres, mediums or artists that you enjoy.
But, the first step is to figure out the type of art you like. Research different types of art and discover your favorites—whether they are photographs, oil paintings, drawings or three-dimensional works. Take note on what catches your eye! And make sure you note any galleries or artists of interest.
Also, don’t forget to consider the size of the space you’ll be hanging the artwork! Personally, I like to set a budget for myself and measure the space for which I’m currently seeking artwork. I want to make sure I fall in love with something I can afford and have the space for!
When you get to the fair, that is your time to explore! Grab a fair guide so you can easily find your galleries of interest. And most importantly, take your time to experience the works. Art buying is as much of an emotional experience with the work as it is an investment.
Once you have decided on a piece, the process of buying the piece is extremely easy. In fact, a lot of people that visit Affordable Art Fair NYC fall in love with a piece of art, buy it from the gallery on the spot, and take it home with them that same day. Many galleries sell their pieces framed, but even for un-framed works, we offer a complimentary wrapping service so you safely take the piece home with you.
Weekend Jaunts: What’s the best way for someone to better understand the current art scene?
Vanessa Seis: The best way to better understand the current art scene is exposing yourself to art. Go visit museums, galleries and open studio events. Take a minute to soak in every public piece of art that comes across your path, as this educates the eye. You don’t have to read up on all the exhibitions or artists you happen upon. Just exposing yourself to art will help develop your very personal taste. And last, but not least: Go to the art fairs that are happening in NYC throughout the year! There is no other place to see a variety of fresh, international contemporary art under one roof!
The Affordable Art Fair celebrates the idea that art is for everyone. Since its launch in 1999, the Affordable Art Fair has welcomed over 2.1 million visitors through its doors, and sold over $408 million worth of art. A global brand, the fair now takes place in Amsterdam, Bristol, Brussels, Hamburg, Hong Kong, London, Milan, New York, Singapore and Stockholm.
The Affordable Art Fair Upcoming Events
International Miniature Print Exhibition, Held from January 28th – March 11th, 2018
Julio Valdez Project Space, an Affordable Art Fair NYC participating gallery, presents its International Miniature Print Exhibition, in collaboration with the Center for Contemporary Printmaking of Norwalk, Connecticut. Featuring a selection of prints that are no more the four square inches in size, works are created in a variety of hand-pulled traditional and contemporary printmaking methods. The gallery is exhibiting works by international artists representing 23 countries and 16 states.
Emmanuel Fremin Gallery
Another show at Affordable Art Fair NYC’s participating exhibitor, Emmanuel Fremin, is titled “Geisha Ink”, and explores a multi-layered story of female independence told through a young woman who was raised in a traditional, repressive culture and family. She rebels against the typical expectations of a woman by having each of her lovers throughout her life tattooed on her body. The result is the true story of her love-life told through tattoos. Her family has no idea that she any tattoos, so it’s a literal, visual rebellion underneath her clothes.