A Gallerist's Top Tips for Choosing Art Ahead of Affordable Art Fair

Ahead of Affordable Art Fair Battersea October 2021, we sat down with gallerist, Pippa Graber, 63, to chat about her work, what she’s planning for the fair and her advice on how to shop for art.

As a gallerist Pippa Graber, 63, represents artists and has been doing so for 21 years now. In between opening a new space, ArtDog, putting on various shows at the gallery, stealing away time to teach children a love of art and prepare for Affordable Art Fair Battersea October 2021, it’s fair to say there’s a lot going on.

“For the last three years I've been building a space. I bought a freehold building in southeast London and knocked it down and went through the process of building a gallery and two flats. I live in one flat, my son lives in the other and the gallery is downstairs,” Pippa explains.

While she confesses that her mission with ArtDog is multi-faceted, she keeps circling back to one theme – whether it’s in her teachings with school students or when working with clients looking for art – and that is to help people to find beautiful things to live with.

“Art is about helping people to develop their love and relationship with art,” she says.

Whether they are seasoned collectors or first-timers looking to start their art collecting journey, for Pippa the whole experience is about helping people to discover their own aesthetic and it's one of the reasons she has been showing at Affordable Art Fair for about 15 years now.

“It’s a highlight of my year as it brings lots of people and a love of art together. It’s a fun event and has a festival feeling. The fair is hugely supportive of galleries and gallerists too. They offer support in a way that other fairs don’t,” she says.

“For the fair this month, I have three strong female painters and a female sculptor showing. We have some really amazing, bigger pieces that are really eye-catching. It’s been really exciting to hang this work together.”

Pippa’s Top Tips for Choosing Art Ahead of Affordable Art Fair, Battersea

55/Redefined sat down with gallerist, Pippa Graber, to get her expert advice on how to shop for art.

1. Consider Your Budget

Ahead of the fair, consider what you want to spend. I work with all of my clients with some kind of budget in mind. That's a great place to start.

2. Be Prepared to Fall in Love with Art

Sometimes people come to me with a space or a wall in mind, but the art will talk to you. What I find is that people will often say that they love something but it wasn’t what they were looking for and then they want to find a space for it. It’s about making a connection with the art and the rest will figure itself out in time. Come with an idea of your space and your price but be prepared to fall in love. When you see it, you will know.

3. Don’t Be Scared to Talk About Commissions

If you see something that you love but it’s not quite right, don’t be scared to talk about commissions. Commissioning a piece of art is a great way to get exactly what you want. So if you see something that you love but you want it three times as big – or smaller even – always ask if the artist does commissions.

4. Collect Art Rather Than Thinking of it As Buying

Aim to collect art. Find artists that you love and follow them, get to know their work and aim to buy more than one piece by the artist. To find what you love, it’s important to start to talk about collecting art, by talking about what you want it helps to define what you’re looking for and what you love.

5. Remember, You’re Buying an Heirloom

I sell art that costs between £500 and £3000. When people say that’s a lot of money, I ask them how much they spent on their couch. Remember, that art will look good for 50 years and can be passed on to your great grandchildren, and couches don’t last that long. You’re buying an heirloom when you buy art. So, with that in mind, you should also consider what you’re buying, like is this just a piece of trend art? Or is this something that touches your soul? Art should connect with you.

To get tickets to attend the Autumn edition of the Affordable Art Fair, Battersea and discover the joy of collecting art, head to their website now. The fair runs until Sunday October 24th.

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