HARLEM, NY – Volunteering for the Harlem Fine Arts Show was an experience. I learned a thing or two about multicultural art from the artist who were selling them but I also learned from the buyers who bought them. I was under the impression that only affluent people bought art but I was mistaken. The truth is, everyday people love and collect art just as much as the celebrities, politicians and those whose annual salaries are in the six figures.
People think of art not only as a decorative piece but as an investment. The artist may not be well known today but they might make a name for themselves in the future. If you have a piece of work from an artist who is making some noise in the art scene now, his or her work is probably priced anywhere from $500 up into the thousands. Hold on to that piece for 10 or more years, and you could be sitting on your retirement fund.
The other thing I learned is that every art buyer has a strategy when looking for that next purchase. Social media and the internet has made it easier for new art buyers but the more savvy collectors have yet to put their trust in the ever-changing world of technology.
Michael Bradley, a Brooklyn, NY-based art dealer, told me that art lovers still need to know who the artist is. "They need to be able to feel and touch the work," Bradley shared explaining that buyers will purchase art online only if they are familiar with the artist 's work.
Lynne Toye, an Orange, NJ-based multicultural artist who creates bold landscape paintings, explained that it all depends on what they are looking for. "One buyer came to my booth twice to look at a piece," Toye shared. "If they come back a third time, hopefully they will buy."
The first mission is to try to get an idea of what the art show has to offer, "They want to see everything," Toye explained. "They will come and take pictures, measurements, and then they have to go home to think about it or talk it over [with their partner]."
I caught up with a set of buyers to find out what buying techniques they use and what they look for. Take a look.
Do you have art buying techniques that you'd like to share? Tweet me @TCsView or email me @firstname.lastname@example.org