The Ultimate Guide to Buying Original Art

The process of finding original art that you love can sometimes feel like a daunting process – where do you start and how do you find artists whose work you will fall in love with? The world of galleries and art is not as intimidating as you might expect and you don’t need to be an art critic to know what it is you like. It’s all about gaining access to artists and exhibitions so that when you see something you like, you are in a position to buy it.

There are a couple of ways to get started. The first and most obvious place is with art galleries. Visit their websites and join their mailing lists. Whenever a new exhibition is scheduled, you will receive an email with the details of the exhibition and a catalogue of the work. If the artist is popular then you will have to move quickly. Lots of art buyers who are on the galleries mailing lists arrange viewings to purchase from the exhibition before it has opened to the general public. Even if you attend the opening night, you will often find that many of the pieces have already been sold. So it’s worth acting fast if you like an artist’s work.

If you are interested in a particular piece and live in the same city as the gallery then set up a viewing. If that’s not possible, then you can ask the gallery to take photos of the art for you to get a more realistic impression – some simple iPhone snaps can give a perspective that the catalogue won’t.

Visit galleries whenever you get a chance. Even if there are no exhibitions you are interested in. They are the gateway to finding artists and are always very friendly and happy to answer questions. Galleries always have a treasure trove of art in the stockroom, so if there is an artist that you like that does not have a current exhibition then ask to see the stockroom. A list of stockroom pieces will also be on the galleries website.

Interior magazines are often a good place to find art as well. Most magazines reference the art that appears in photos of the homes they cover so make a note of the artists name and find the gallery that represents them. I also like the Art editorial section of Vogue Australia and Belle.

Even though I live in Singapore nearly all the galleries I follow and purchase art from are in Australia (I have a bit of thing for Australian art). The galleries are used to speaking with overseas art buyers and will help you to ship the piece once purchased. In my experience, the shipping usually equals the GST that is removed so from a cost perspective it ends up being neutral.

My favourite Australian Galleries

Arthouse Gallery | Edwina Corlette | Jan Murphy Gallery | Olsen Irwin | Richard Martin Art | Sophie Gannon Gallery | Otomys | Curatorial & Co |


Once you have your beautiful new artwork at home, the next consideration is framing and placement. Another blog post…coming soon!

HOME & DECORCharlie Cameron