Monday, March 31, 2008

How To Be a Modern Art Insider and Get the Paintings You Want

Kirsten Ulve

Feeling left out and lonely? Admiring your buddy's beautiful (and valuable!) art collection and wondering how you can get one of your very own? Tired of imbibing catering truck-sized amounts of cheap wine and cheese and listening to pretentious art school students drone on and on about metaphors of distopia and current memes in modern art movements (what the hell is meme anyway? Really, are you sure?) with nothing on your wall to show for it? Well PopDrawer is here to change all that and teach you how to get the art that you want in five easy tips.

1) Subscribe to your favorite artists' websites and check them often. You can't buy anything from an artist unless you know that she/he will soon have work for sale. You need to keep abreast of your faves' upcoming shows before you can do anything else. In addition, sometimes an artists sells a piece or two from their website.

2) Contact the galleries where your artists will be showing. Get on their mailing lists. Email the email contact and ask them to be put on the artist's waiting list. Let them know that you are a serious buyer, a fan of that artist's work, and you would like a chance to buy a piece.

3) Buy from your favorite galleries. Typically a gallery has a personality, an aesthetic. If you like the work of one artist they show, you are likely to like the work of other artists on their roster. So go to the openings, troll the websites, and look for an unsold piece that you like. Do not assume that the pieces that go first are always the best pieces. Trust your own taste. And know that often a buyer falls out after they have already committed, leaving the gallery with a piece it must resell. Those works are often found somewhere on the website. Once you purchase a piece from a gallery, you will be a VIP to that gallery, and your request to be on the waiting list of your favorite artists will be given much more weight.

4) Get to know your favorite artists!. They usually show up to their opening night soirees. They are often the ones standing in the corner, surrounded by groupies, uncomfortable at the attention. But who cares! They are counting on you, their fans, to support them. Approach them. Tell them how much you like their work. If everything has already been sold, ask them if they have any unsold pieces available or if they have a waiting list. Chances are that they will answer you! And then follow up with an email.

5) Go to the private preview, not the public opening. If there's a preview, that's when the remaining available pieces will be sold. You need to be there, right when it starts. But how, PopDrawer, can a regular Joe or Jenny like me get into the private preview, you may ask? Well, you need to be resourceful and clever and bold. Here's what you need to do. Ready? Ask. That's right. Ask. Call the gallery and try this out. "Um, hi, uh... is there a private preview for the new Gary Baseman show? Could I get an invite? Really, just show up? I'll be there!" Good thing you're resourceful, clever and bold. You just got yourself in line to buy a rare and hard to attain Gary Baseman original.

Good luck and good hunting!!

P.S. The images in this email are pieces PopDrawer acquired using some of these very methods!!

Miles Thompson


Lori Lakin Hutcherson said...

Great tips! Thanks for sharing the PopDrawer secrets!!

Teddy Tenenbaum said...

Anytime! Just don't go using them to snatch away one of PopDrawer's favorite pieces from us! ;)