Our Tips to Buying Art at the EAF
Our top 3 tips to buying art at this weekends EAF!
Come prepared - but not too much. Most people will come to the Fair with the vague objective of finding something for a blank wall or to replace some old posters they have had for years. It is worthwhile measuring these spaces before setting off. However, keep an open mind as the special piece waiting for you could be a sculpture, ceramic or glass.
Have a general browse first. At the Fair, get a catalogue and walk around the whole Fair quite quickly first. This will allow you to spot the galleries that appeal to you and to get your bearings. In the process, a number of individual pieces will catch your eye. Mark on your catalogue the stands to come back to. Have a break for a cup of tea or a glass of wine. Then go back to the three or four gallery stands that have attracted you and take time to look at the individual pieces that caught your eye on your first round. Find out more about them: their price of course, but also the medium used, especially if it is a print. There should be only original artwork at the Fair, but when buying art in general get confirmation that the work was made by the hand of an artist, not a reproduction such as a mass produced giclee print for example.
Follow your heart. After a small break mulling over this more detailed information, one of the pieces may be really tugging at your heart-strings. You find yourself going back several times to look at it, and you feel a little fizzing of excitement when you do. This is the only thing that really matters, not the reputation of the artist, or any story behind the work, it is what your gut is telling you. The rest are practical questions: where will it go and, more crucially, can you afford it.
If you can, then just go for it. You are unlikely to devote that amount of time to looking at as wide a range of art as you are now. If finances are a problem, tell the gallery. Many galleries can offer interest-free monthly payment. If it is the first time you are buying original art, do tell the gallery, as many will see it as their duty to help you take this first step. If you buy the piece, make sure you keep a record of the name of the artist and the gallery. You never know, you might have bought the next Francis Bacon! Or more likely you may want to go back to this gallery in future.
The only really important thing is to follow your heart, nothing else much matters and this will guarantee that this particular artwork will give a lot of pleasure for a long time.