Part II : Where to Go + What You'll Find
If you live in New York, Miami, London or another metropolis that hosts annual art fairs, rejoice. If not, start booking your tickets. Cultural tourism is exhilarating! Buying artwork while on vacation is more memorable than a souvenir. And unlike that salt water taffy on your shelf, it may increase in value. This is an opportunity to rub elbows with dealers, collectors and artists from all over the world. What are you waiting for?
Usually, there is one primary fair and many satellite fairs. Art Basel and the Armory Show are examples of primary fairs, and the biggest players in the artworld attend including blue chip galleries from around the world, collectors building a legacy, top critics, artists represented at the fair, and hordes of art students. Because of this, the primary fair is typically crowded, expensive and elitist. If you are already entrenched in the artworld, you know that this comes with the territory. If this sounds intimidating, read on.
Art Fairs are like bison,
they travel in herds.
Choosing which fairs to attend largely depends on your goals. For example, are you looking to acquire a piece of artwork from China or Europe? Well, you can save thousands on international shipping if you buy an artwork on display during the fair, assuming you live nearby, you can use proximity to your advantage. This is just one example of the ways you can benefit from attending an art fair, but we suggest you do your homework.
Research ahead of time, your Future Self will thank you
-Select galleries you would like to work with
-Select artists you would like to collect
-If you MUST HAVE a certain piece, go to the VIP Preview and claim it before someone else does
-If you already have a relationship with the gallery showing the artwork you desire, contact the dealer in advance to arrange a time to stop by
-If you trust your taste already, go to the newer fairs
We suggest going to one fair that has museum quality work as well as one of the more cutting edge fairs. This allows you to learn about contemporary art that has already been tested by the market + art made last month in a loft in Brooklyn. You will witness tight professional exhibits and the exchange of huge sums of money, eavesdrop politely, and possibly chat with dealers or other collectors. Fairs like Volta or Pulse have collectible work in a more relaxed environment. As New Yorkers who have access to blue chip galleries and museum exhibits year-round, we prefer the edgier art found at Spring/Break Art Show, Independent and NADA.
An artist’s reputation, and sales record in the art market sets the price tag, which can rise exponentially from one year to the next. If you can’t tell the difference between Mike Kelley and a new grad from Cranbrook, hold onto your Amex and seek the professional advice of an art advisor. Nudge nudge, we can help ;)
We at Neesh have our favorite fairs, and our bias leans towards those that appreciate and promote emerging art. If you are a new collector, on a budget, or just wanna see what’s available, feel free to reach out to us.