Almost everyone will buy art in their lifetime, but consumers often don’t think about buying art from a gallery as opposed to what is mass produced from a department or furniture store. Many times they simply buy the least expensive art available, or the nearest item that says “Live Laugh Love” that will fill a space on their wall. But what if we can get people to think twice about their wall real-estate and see art as an investment? Historically, galleries are places for expensive art and posh experiences with cheese and wine, perhaps that atmosphere doesn’t jive with the average consumer, who enjoys the ease of a conveyor belt and self-checkout.
We can’t really compare mass-produced art to original art, or a department store experience to that of a gallery, but we feel that simply more people should experience buying from a gallery, because unavoidably, empty walls get things hung on them.
Art Buying vs Collecting
In a more complex evaluation, there is a very large difference between art collecting, and art buying, (and there are ways to explain it like wine and cheese) or it can simply be understood that there are galleries that can help find art for you, and it’s that easy!
Any purchase of art, by definition is “collecting art,” although just in the simple definition of the word to “collect.” Our goal as a gallery is to turn more art purchasers into art collectors, but first, we have to convince art buyers to buy art worth something, then we can talk about building collections.
Art is complex from a market perspective, but buying art is really simple, and easy.
Art collecting from an artists’ or gallerists perspective is a rabbit hole of art valuation vs aesthetic purchasing, politics, and of course, complex socioeconomics, but it’s never that complicated to start buying valuable art. After all, an art purchase is just a simple transaction, and that’s what it should be.
Here’s how that looks from a consumer perspective.
View inventory, negotiate, transaction, done. You own a piece of original art, or something of value!
In our most humble opinion, the inherent issue with purchasing a piece of mass-produced department store artwork is that there is a better, and in many cases more fun alternative, and it doesn’t have to be explained in a long technical way, basically there are real people who make things, probably close to where you live, or people (gallerists, if you’re lucky to live in an area that a gallery can survive and stay open), who know what they are talking about in the world of art, know their inventory, and can help you connect to those people who live near you who make stuff. What is the point? Use your local services, or in other words, “buy local.”
Indie markets and craft products have become all the rage, but in many places the “buy local” attitude hasn’t caught on for art, and it simply comes down to educating the community about art buying. Buying authentic, local, and valuable art can get really technical, but that doesn’t mean it’s not easy.
Connecting directly with an artist
Markets are wonderful ways to buy local work from local artists, but there are many artists who fit outside of the market crowd that may have very valuable work, so this is where a gallery can help make the connection.
There’s also nothing wrong with asking an artist about a commission, or available work they may have on hand, in general this is pretty easy to do through instagram, a common platform that most visual artists use.
Conferences and Meets
If you’re lucky enough to live in a major city, conferences are great ways to connect to high profile artists selling prints, and limited edition items; DesignerCon and Complexicon are a great example.
Gallerists are here to help, so use the services they offer.
We suggest buying artwork that is a smart investment. Why go to a department or furniture store to buy artwork that depreciates in value? It’s actually very easy to contact a gallery to suggest artwork that may be a great investment that will also fit the color scheme of a room (if that is the goal).
We’ll look at Tampa for example. Our geographic area has many art galleries, with a lot of inventory. Mize Gallery holds shows every single month, and most of these exhibits feature local art.
Cass Contemporary is a New Contemporary Gallery which specializes in high end collectors and high end collections.
Tempus Projects is a not for profit gallery in our area that curates all types exhibits from conceptual to modern abstract, and the place has been around for 10 years, with a board of heavy hitting arts professionals.
Currently, our gallery, Mergeculure has artwork that is available from local, and international artists, starting from $35 dollars to nearly $2000.00. This is not an outlandish price range for the amount of established artists we represent. We have some very heavy hitting artists in the New Contemporary and Urban Contemporary movements as well.
All of the work in our collection is artwork that is a great investment, this means the pieces are either limited, signed and numbered prints, or original pieces by established or up-and-coming artists. These are all artists worth investing in right now, and perfect for an art buyer who can start becoming a collector.
Let’s examine a few of the artists we’d suggest investing in now.
Justin is a younger artist and has an established style. We have an entire collection of black and white work by Justin Wagher with pieces that start at $100.00, and cap out at under $2K.
Purchasing artwork from a young artist who has a defined style is important, because art from this artist will definitely appreciate in resale value. As this artist receives more gallery representation from all over the country, the representatives will suggest higher prices as his demand goes up. That will surely happen.
Blade is an innovator of the New York City subway graffiti movement from the late 1970s to the early 80s, he painted over 5000 trains before the clean car movement and is a staple artist in the evolution of New Contemporary Art culture. His first gallery show was done the street from Warhol and his first canvas piece was enabled by subculture documenter Martha Cooper, since she gave the man his first canvas to paint on. Blade has his work in galleries across the world, and we have limited books, canvases and a pair on one of one sneakers painted by the artist. This artist is very high in appreciation and his work is a great investment.
Part One is also from the New York City subway art movement in the late 1970s and early 1980s, we have prints, canvases and a one of one pair of shoes available by the artist.
Lady Pink is also an icon from the New York City Subway movement, featured in books such as Subway Art, and exhibits including Beyond the Streets, her work is influential to the progression of Urban Contemporary Art.
Birdcap has an incredibly defined style influenced by Greek mythology, and his work is internationally recognized. His work has already appreciated in value during the course of this year, since we held a trio show with Birdcap, Sentrock and Lilipore, Birdcap has completed his first solo show at Chicago Truborn and the value in his work has already gone up. This is in the span of only six months. Birdcap’s work is worth investing in right now, and we have two remaining pieces by the artist.
Sentrock is known for murals all around the country. His iconic bird character speaks to social injustices and relatable subjects. We have two remaining pieces by the artist, both under $500.00. Work from this artist is definitely a great investment, as his work is highly collected by very established collectors.
Artwork for Interior Designers
We have limited work that fits any color palette or color design for an interior design project. If you’re a designer, work with an architecture firm, new home owner, or just want to refresh the art on your walls with work that qualifies as appreciating assets, please call us.
Artwork for New Home Owners
If you just purchased a home, or rented a new space, whether it is an apartment, condo, townhome or otherwise, one of the best ways to make your space your own is to purchase artwork that has meaning and value for your space.
Artwork for Offices
An office without art on the walls will definitely echo, so it is important to place artwork in conference rooms, lobbies, and even hallways within a business setting. Artwork that qualifies as an appreciating asset is a smart choice for any office.
Referral program for interior designers and real estate agents.
We are offering real estate agents a portion of our commission. For every exhibit we have, and every artist we represent we negotiate a commission scale with the artist, we’re passing on our commission to real estate agents and interior designers who spread the word about our available collection or send us a referral. Real Estate agents and Interior Designers can earn up to 40% of the sale price of a piece of artwork if their referral leads to a sale of artwork. It’s just a way to establish more collectors, and keep local and established artists work valuable.
Starting an art collection.
If you don’t see art on your walls as a collection, or consider yourself an art collector, chances are, you already are. If you’ve purchased artwork from a department store, or an online shop that mass produces digital prints that are only worth the paper and ink they are printed on, you’re still collecting art, it just isn’t worth a whole lot after you buy it. We can all work together to change that, the “buy local” mentality is really catching on with craft fairs, indie products, etc, but more people need to think about buying local art and working with their local galleries to make smart art purchases.
We’re here to help, give us a call or send us an email and let us know about your space, we are sure to have something for your walls.