Buy your first piece of art
MCLEMOI Gallery owner Sara Leonardi and designer Bianca Spender give their advice on how to buy your first piece of art.PT2M9S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2txxo 620 349 September 18, 2013
It seems the saying "I don't know art but I know what I like" rings true when it comes to buying your first piece of art.
"The first is almost an impulse buy because you love it so much," says McLemoi Art Gallery owner Sara Leonardi-McGrath.
"Of course, budget comes in to play but the difference with how we purchase art compared to other items is you don't need art. You need clothes to wear, you need shoes on your feet, you need a couch to sit on but art is something you love and appreciate in your home," she says.
Arty pair: McLemoi Gallery owner Sara Leonardi (left) and designer Bianca Spender give their advice on how to buy your first piece of art. Photo: Wolter Peeters
"And it's an investment. You buy a car and the second you drive it off the lot it depreciates. But art goes up in value and is a whole lot more fun to look at than your stock portfolio," she says.
Fashion designer Bianca Spender is an avid art collector. "I bought my first piece for under $1000 when I barely could afford it but I met the artist and fell in love with the piece.
"It's like if you're shopping for a handbag and you see someone else pick it up and you just want to grab it out of their hands," she says.
First Time Art: Alexandra Standen (sculptures) range between $800- 3,000 as part of the "Deposits" exhibition at MCLEMOI Gallery on from September 18. Photo: Wolter Peeters
Leonardi-McGrath and Spender are ambassadors for the new international art fair, Sydney Contemporary 13, which will be held at the Carriageworks in Redfern from September 20-22.
"I'm a terrible shopper and my friends joke that if I didn't make clothes I'd barely be able to get dressed in the morning," says Spender. "I find it much easier to buy art."
Leonardi-McGrath gives buyers added attention by taking the works to their homes. "I think it's important to see it in situ. I'll go to your house, leave it for the night and see how you feel the next day. Most people, once they see it in their house, that's the final click and they buy it."
Spender says art is her passion. "When I travel home from overseas I'm always asking my mum [fashion designer Carla Zampatti] to carry some of my art books back so I don't have to pay excess baggage.
"She's always rolling her eyes at me saying, 'why aren't they clothes or fashion books?' But it's what I love."
"I approach art as a way of developing ideas. I find art books are like a bible to me and a rich source of inspiration. So I go to a lot of galleries for inspiration – from White Rabbit to the MCA. I love that it's free to visit and you can have a look at great things, then go and let the kids run outside."
Leonardi-McGrath says attending an art fair is a great first step because you can see so many different options in one spot.
"To have an international contemporary art fair for Sydney is extremely important," she says.
"It brings together an amazing mix of people from all different creative fields together. From academics to fashion, high society and street artists. Because in the end it's all about the art."