Tips on what how to buy art from an art gallery. This is a must to for any collector who is interested in collection art. Dr. Mark Sublette with 25 years of experience in the art world gives you insight to what you need to know before you buy your first piece of art.
Red Flags For Buying Art In A Gallery
Red flags for when you're buying art in a gallery. Not all galleries are the same, unfortunately, and like any business, there are really great galleries and there are not so great galleries. And as a consumer, especially if you're maybe beginning consumer, you may not know what makes a good gallery and what not, and you may not even know what general recognized practices should occur in a gallery. So, I'm going to give you a few red flags. If I see these kinds of things – walk away, don't buy, just avoid it, because there's a problem. First of all, if you go into the gallery, and they immediately give you a hard sell there's generally a problem. We are in the business to sell artwork, but more importantly (at least in my gallery), we want to educate; we want to make long-term commitments to our clients, and we're really not interested in just making a single sale. We want to have a relationship. Galleries that are focused heavily on making sales, and pay commissions to their employees are generally not the kind of galleries that are going to have the best kind of art. If they start pressuring you right off the crack to try to buy something and using techniques like this, you're probably really not buying a good piece of artwork. Two, those same individuals generally are going to go, “Oh, we can take off 50%” I see this a lot, unfortunately, in Santa Fe from some of the dealers that are just there grinding. We have a gallery in Santa Fe. Guess what? We don't take off anything. We price it fairly to begin with, and if you don't like the price, I understand, but it's priced fairly. You don't have to come from 50 percent off to get to half. This is very important – any time you see a 50% sale off, or they start to take off money like that, I guarantee you there's a problem; either the piece is not right, and generally when they come down off 50%, they're still above retail, and maybe way above retail, but for some reason that psychology and the human nature is they feel like they're getting a deal. That means that you, as the consumer, need to do some research, and I recommend people doing market research, so they know what they're buying. I send people off, and when they come to Santa Fe, and they look at my rugs, and they want to buy one I'll send them around town – say, “Go do some research. See other ones and you'll come back, because you'll find out they’re priced fairly.” And it's very important that a gallery is willing to let you walk away because if they are, that means they're probably reputable. Another red flag that I look at is if you see artwork just piled everywhere on the floor. If you walk in and there are paintings stacked in rows, generally the quality is probably not there. There's a reason that they're stacked: A) they have too much inventory and it's probably not good inventory, or B) they don't have enough room; they can't afford it. So, you know, they just stack it up, hoping that somebody will buy it. It also says something to me (at least about the aesthetics of the gallery itself) that that they don't have the aesthetics themselves to value the art enough to get it off the floor. Have I put art on the floor? Yeah, I have, but I don't like it, and it usually comes off; it's a temporary thing that I do. Maybe (from) somebody we've just gotten a load of art in and we're inventorying it or getting it put away, but we don't just stack things up on the on the floor. This is a red flag, in my opinion, to an art gallery that just probably isn't that step above. When you're going to an art gallery you should feel comfortable. You should walk away with a good, positive feeling, and you shouldn't feel like you're being sold to. If you get all those kind of things and they’re doing these, (then these) are red flags, and just don't buy.