ART WORLD Q & A: Edition 4

ART WORLD Q & A: Edition 4


ArtStar Founder, Chrissy Crawford, explores the benefits of collecting editions and what role the secondary market plays when it comes to value in this edition of Art World Q&A.

About ArtStar:

Founded in New York in 2011 by curator Chrissy Crawford, ArtStar is an online art gallery that offers art lovers the chance to collect museum quality, limited edition fine art prints by some of the best contemporary artists working today. Crawford opened her art advisory business in New York City in 2006 after earning a master’s degree in International Art Business from Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London.

1. How has the art market changed over the last 20 years?

Art is moving online. Websites will not replace galleries, but they allow collectors in lower price points to participate in the art market. The Internet also allows people to research their purchases before they buy. I think online is all about discovery, education and access.

2. Who are the contemporary artists that will stand the test of time and why?

That’s a tough one. I think stand out artists like Nick Cave and Yayoi Kusama will last. Artists who do not have to explain why their work is amazing. I’ve seen people’s mouths drop in awe when they see a Cave sound suit and that is what keeps you relevant for generations.

3. What is the difference between market and value in the art world?

I determine the value of an “investment” in art by the strength of the secondary market. Is your work worth anything after it leaves the gallery?  95% of work sold today does not have a secondary market.

4. What role do you think taste plays in the decisions that important collectors make when buying new work?

Many collectors have good taste because they are patient and educated on the market. They also work with great dealers who know which works are important. Every collector’s taste changes and evolves with time.

5. What would you buy with $10k, $100k and $1 million?

Tim Walker or Kim Keever photo, Nick Cave Sound Suit or a large Julie Heffernan work, Gerhard Richter small painting.

6. What are the advantages/disadvantages of buying at auction versus buying through a commercial gallery?

I feel like there is less selection with an auction. I love seeing the whole show by 1 artist.

7. What criteria do you use in judging art?

If it’s special. Artists who stick gum on a canvas do not impress me. I do not care what the idea is behind the work. Make some effort.

8. What criteria do you use in pricing art?

We sell work between $55-$4,000 USD. I price almost all of our editions at the same price points. It’s fun to purchase something by William Wegman at the same price as an emerging artists.

9. What is long-term market value largely dependent on? How relevant is long-term market value with the fluctuation of auction prices going up or down each season?

That’s tough. Supply, how many people are collecting in a certain area (if there are only a handful of people interested in a genre, then the market is incredibly volatile). It also depends on the artist and having a good dealer who understands how to create a solid secondary market for their work.

10. What determines the commercial value of art?

Galleries and auctions usually base price on where the artist is in their career, size, medium, edition and demand.

11. How are art fairs shaping contemporary art? What is the primary role of art fairs?

Fairs are branded. Some fairs like Basel and Frieze can legitimize a gallery and artists.

12. What are your favorite online venues for buying art?

ArtStar and LittleCollector 🙂 I also love Paddle8 museum stores. The New Museum had prints by Rob Pruitt that I wanted so badly!

13. What do you look for in the art you collect?

I collect almost all editions. I love owning something by my art heroes and have a very limited budget.

14. What is the best advise you can offer to someone who is ready to start collecting contemporary art?

Start slow. Do not buy something right away. Your taste will change in a year. Editions are great because you can learn while you collect and not spend your entire budget on one work.