How To Buy Art (When You’re Not A Millionaire)



We have access to such a breadth of art through the galleries and online collections that have proliferated in the past few years, but how do you choose what to buy? How do you even know what you really like?

The bad news is that there’s no true shortcut to taste; you have to do some research. The good news? Social media means you can quickly build up a portfolio of artists to follow. You can also rent art if you’re indecisive.

I don’t know much about art. How can I find what I like and begin to collect that?

According to Alana Kushnir, a lawyer and founding director of art advisory and event service Guest Club, state galleries are a great place to start.

“We’ve got really great public art collections in Australia and they’re a really good starting point to become familiar with different artistic styles.  Find independent galleries on social media to learn about the artists they represent and any upcoming events and works.”

I find smaller galleries intimidating. How can I get over that?

“You can feel like you don’t belong when you start out but there are so many ways into the art world that are more accessible than people might think.” - collector Kate Dinon.

Graduate art shows and events like Sydney Contemporary, the Affordable Art Fair and the NGV Triennial are among Dinon’s favourite events, as well as fundraiser auctions at West Space gallery in Collingwood and First Draft in Sydney.

I’ve found a work I like. How can I find out how much it costs?

While things are slowly changing, for the most part galleries only provide artwork prices upon request. Email the gallery and ask for a price list.

I’ve found an artist I like but they don’t have any works for sale. Do I have to wait until their next exhibition to make a purchase?

Not necessarily. If you’ve found an artist you want invest in, it’s worth reaching out to the gallery that represents them or to the artist directly via Instagram and ask if it’s possible to commission a work.

Meet The Women Making Thousands From Their Wardrobes



Read more of our guide  to purchasing art  at PRIMER.


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