Buying and Selling Art – Understanding today’s marketplace – Part Five
Guest blog by: Katherine Filice – An artist’s perspective
This is the fifth guest blog in a series of articles featuring responses from both buyers and sellers in the art sector.
“Happy to be jumping in on the conversation with my favorite UK logistics team!”
Do artists and galleries receive more interest and better sales at art fairs, in the art gallery, or selling art online? Does one drive footfall to the other? Do you simply get a different type of buyer at an art fair rather than a gallery? Do you get a lot of viewings at art fairs but not many sales? And where do online art stores enter into things and how successful are they for selling art? What makes one succeed over another?
Katherine Filice – Artist
Katherine Filice’s experience of promoting and selling her work across art fairs, galleries, and online gives her a good perspective of the marketplace, and has offered us all a well-constructed response as part of this on-going discussion.
Katherine Filice an award-winning contemporary artist based in California, USA. She uses a surreal point-of-departure approach, and a very unique detailed pen and ink technique. Her meditative drawings (which take anywhere from fifty to well over a hundred hours to complete), were once described as “peeling back the skin, but it is oddly beautiful”, and also by South Valley Magazine as “a timeless expression of pure emotion”. Filice is currently a finalist for the 2019 International Art Revolution Prize Competition Taipei.
Read Katherine Filice’s insightful views:
“2018 was a very exciting year for me as an artist, having shown my work at eight different events including fairs, galleries and online—from London to Hong Kong.
To address the question about where artists get more sales and interest, I thought it might be helpful to first offer a succinct answer to the question, followed by some of the highlights of my year, and how my sales and experiences stacked up. After all, selling isn’t always my primary goal. Sometimes other connections are more valuable to my career in the long term.
So overall, what wins in terms of the best venue to sell work? I would say the winner is fairs and exhibits where the artist is present and can connect to the buyer or collector personally. In terms of building a resume though, and driving your price higher, galleries and juried events are essential in creating that important track-record for an artist. Having my work chosen among thousands of applicants for various group shows, tells me I am doing something that stands out and also helps build my confidence.
I am excited to already have three exceptional events scheduled for 2019—and all of them stem from being highly engaged through fairs, galleries and associations. Whatever path you choose, my best advice is to be active, open and engaged. As artists, it’s much easier and more satisfying to stay tucked away in our studios—but to thrive, we must walk through all of the doors that are open to us.
My year kicked off with ArtRooms ’18 in London, held at the Melia White House hotel. I did have solid sales there and felt that the idea of having a hotel room to use as a gallery was fantastic. I was able to curate my own unique artistic vision. Additionally, I was able to build a robust database of collectors, galleries and curators. This show generated a very in-depth story which was an incredible boost to my place in the art community. I did have a sale post-show as well.
Next up I had a solo exhibition in California and sold quite a few pieces, primarily prior to the show opening and during the opening night reception. I sold a few pieces during the two-month exhibit as well—maybe 10 sales all in. Opening night was by far the best opportunity for sales, as I was able to talk to everyone and really explain my vision for my work.
Additionally, I had my art (which was part of a group show) in three different gallery events in 2018. Unfortunately, I didn’t sell any of my works during these events, although other artists did. It might be that my work is a bit more unique—I am not sure why I struggled in the group environment. That said, the exposure and accolades I received for my work during these events was incredibly valuable on many levels. I was honored to participate and would do so again.
My biggest show was in Hong Kong at the Asia Contemporary Art Show. I must have had over 2000 people come through my room. I sold three large pieces—two on opening night. Dollar-wise, this was an excellent venue for higher-end collectors. The press coverage I received was phenomenal as well—with six articles and features.
Finally, I sold one piece online through an ArtCan event (and also one piece at a gallery event hosted by ArtCan). This online sale was to someone who knows my work. I have never sold a piece online to someone who hasn’t seen my work in person. I currently have an online profile at Saatchi and use my marketing background to drive traffic to the site, but haven’t had good results (yet!) with this platform.”
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Why are we qualified to manage the debate?
ShipArtTM sits in the middle of the art sector and builds lasting relationships with artists, galleries, collectors, investors, curators and organisers of art fairs. From this position and with a genuine interest in all things art (our staff are art lovers and collectors), we are perfectly positioned to take a neutral stance and draw upon our community to bring you a wealth of opinions on the subject of buying and selling art in the current market.
A word from Flight Logistics ShipArtTM
What is becoming apparent through these valuable guest blogs is that we live in a day and age when artists have much more control over their careers. It’s been mentioned more than once that an important aspect of successful sales is the personal touch that the likes of art fairs and exhibitions provide.
Just make sure that there is a professional art shipping company on stand by for the last part of the trade. Don’t forget amidst the excitement of any art purchase how important it is to use a professional art shipping company for delivery – packing, insurance and shipping are often last minute additions to the process – they can be an integral part of the process with the right advice – check out our previous blog articles with free advice and email us for quotes and more specific information
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