The top question I get from friends, potential clients, interior designers and miscellaneous others is: "Where should I go to get art?" I've hesitated doing a post on this because I previously felt that the answer represents a ton of professional capital -- years learning about, vetting, and establishing relationships with galleries, auction houses, artist studios, home stores and online shops around the world. BUT, screw it. The holidays are coming and I'm feeling generous. That, and I'm now 100% confident that giving you some names that you could Google anyways in no way jeopardizes my business of walking clients through what art works best for them, how to understanding pricing and quality, where to save and where to splurge, how to establish good taste, how to get art safely into your space and install it once it's there so your space looks polished, meanwhile making the whole experience efficient and worthwhile. I mean, I'm biased, but anyways....
The much-anticipated answer to where you should go to get art is....... IT DEPENDS [cue the collective sigh of disappointment]. I know, that's annoying, but asking me that is like asking a designer where to buy a couch, a stylist where to get clothes, and a chef where to buy food.... and when I seek out art for my clients, I'm sourcing options to fit THEIR space, taste, and budget [not mine or yours, Anonymous Reader]. However, since I can't give a straight up answer, I'm still going to throw you a bone and provide a mini-guide with a few oh-so-juicy sources listed:
The first important step in actually finding art right for you is to pick a budget. This is the top filter to help guide your search. And this is also a step you regularly take in every other part of your life -- when you want a casual lunch, you filter out the $$$$ restaurants and focus on the quick bite joins near you. If you have a fancy event, bargain stores are not your go-to. With art, it's no different -- picking a budget simply helps you narrow down the feasible options. If you want art that's relatively low-cost and possibly decorative, online stores are a good source. The online buying risks still apply, but some places I look are Art Star, Uprise Art, Saatchi Art, Etsy, and Viyet. If you're interested in spending up to $10k, going to emerging art galleries is a good choice. These include Denny Gallery, Sasha Wolf, Anastasia Photo, Pele Prints, Jerald Melberg, Jackson Fine Art, Kathryn Markel, Fierman, and Canada. Spending a few tens of thousands can get you some excellent pieces by mid to mature career artists at galleries like Yossi Milo, Berry Campbell, Findlay Galleries, Davidson Contemporary, Sundaram Tagore, Jayne H Baum and Margaret Thatcher Projects. And finally, investing big bucks in art means that you can go to the top tier (AKA "blue chip") galleries showing artists at the top of their game. These include Paul Kasmin, Mary Boone, Metro Pictures and Lisson Gallery.
Importantly, the places listed above are in NO particular order and do not at all represent all of those with which we work. To keep this as a mini-guide, I haven't included artist studios, auction houses and home stores, which can also be excellent sources. Those listed are NY-heavy because I live in NY, but we do work with galleries around the world. Really they are just a quick run down of places I like and that come to mind during my Sunday night blog post crunch time. There are obviously many more.
And finally, before you excitedly Google all the places listed above thinking #WIN, note that galleries (which represent only a fraction of the art world) are a lot to navigate: they only show a portion of their inventory at any given time, and I'm lucky to get 1st dibs on a lot of pieces that aren't yet marketed (also at favorable prices). You may find that gallery hopping leaves you feeling a little lost and a little stupid. If not, power to you and YOU'RE WELCOME. But if it does, call us and we'll help. OH and Interior Designers, note that finding art for clients is only the first step --- now you have to sell it to them. Check out our video here with a few pro tips. Happy Holidays!