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Purchasing from an art gallery

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by fwiffo, Mar 30, 2013.

  1. fwiffo

    fwiffo Senior member

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    Does anyone on this board have experience purchasing from an art gallery? It occurred to me that it would a good gift to acquire something for someone from this one gallery in Toronto. I've never been except to the really big art shows and the one for the province where obviously I'm not the target buyer.

    I missed the exhibit for this particular artist by two weeks but she has exhibited a few times in the past couple of years at the gallery so I'm hoping they actually have pieces from her there.

    Also worrying is there are no prices on anything.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2013
  2. Medwed

    Medwed Senior member

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    Do you have a timetable for this purchase? If not you can try to pick up her art at auctions, might be less expensive. Could you post link to her work? Are you sure the intended recipient of your gift would appreciate her work as much as you, after all art is a matter of personal taste.
     
  3. fwiffo

    fwiffo Senior member

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    ..

    Full disclaimer I'm going to have to do a vox sartoria to protect the details from Google searches later.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013
  4. Medwed

    Medwed Senior member

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    Perhaps gallery if lacking her art for sale can put you in contact with artists? Can you reach artists directly ? That is what I would attempt if gallery would not help.
     
  5. fwiffo

    fwiffo Senior member

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    I will give it a try. I am going to go on Wednesday afternoon. It says they have her in the catalogue so I assume at least some pieces are for sale. That's how art galleries work right?

    This one is in a bit of a hipster place and I am coming from work dressed rather formal so I was hoping I wouldn't get taken for a ride.
     
  6. lefty

    lefty Senior member

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    Galleries are in the business of selling you art. If they represent that artist they will have pieces on hand or be able access the work easily. They will also have a price list. Ask for it. Prices can be negotiable especially if there are unsold works from a recent show.

    lefty
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2013
  7. fwiffo

    fwiffo Senior member

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    Thanks. Wish me luck then. Only art galleries I have been to are the very big institutional ones so I didn't quite understand all of it.

    Still hoping I won't get taken for a ride.
     
  8. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    almost always cheaper to deal directly with the artist.

    These days, artists almost always have web sites and you can contact the artist through the web site.
     
  9. iamacyborg

    iamacyborg Senior member

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    Yep, galleries take a cut out of any work exhibited in their space, so dealing directly with the artist is the way to go if you can do that.
     
  10. fwiffo

    fwiffo Senior member

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    She is in Iran and the url is not working. I cabbed over yesterday during the alleged opening hours and it was locked. I am going to ring them and then leave an email that I am buying.
     
  11. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    Yes, although often (not always, of course) galleries will have agreements with the artist that in exchange for their promotional activities they cut a cut of everything sold, whether or not it's actually sold through the gallery. Whether this is honored or not varies widely, as you might imagine. That's really the artist's issue and not yours, just noting it FYI.
     
  12. iamacyborg

    iamacyborg Senior member

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    Yep, that's also absolutely correct. It always helps if you can build a rapport with the artist in question, particularly if you're likely to buy more than one piece from them.
     
  13. fwiffo

    fwiffo Senior member

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    I got it. Yes there was a price list of items from 500-6000. The purchasing was rather painless and they gave me a 10% discount for cash and no tax. Since I was intent on buying anyway, I had no idea whether it was good or not. I got a chance to talk with the art director there and they gave me a coffee while they were wrapping it up. I got a free frame too.

    There was some confusion as to whether the artist wanted to enrol some pieces into a competition in which case I wouldn't be able to get it until after the competition. And I was invited for another showing.

    She did mention that there will be an artist's workshop where people can buy directly from artists when they show up.

    Thanks to everyone on this thread for the advice.
     
  14. lawyerdad

    lawyerdad Senior member

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    Congrats, enjoy it.
    Maybe if the piece shows in the competition they can put "On loan from the collection of fwiffo" on the label.
     

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