Murray Macaulay, Print Specialist at Christie’s and curator of the contemporary art fair Multiplied, offers insider-advice for first- time art buyers, and tells us who to look out for at Multiplied Art Fair 2014
What can visitors expect from Multiplied?
Multiplied is the UK’s only contemporary editions fair, and what that means is we focus on art made in editions, but we’re not a print fair or a photography fair. We include prints, photographs, multiples, 3D printing, digital art and artists books.
Are there any pieces you are excited about?
There’s a French publisher called LN Edition which does really sophisticated 3D multiples, and she represents an artist called Tsuyu, who does very beautiful paper 3D hanging pieces.
When it comes to buying art, what’s the benefit of something like Multiplied versus an auction?
I think Multiplied gives you the chance to buy the work of an artist while they are still unknown. I believe that’s a real advantage. When things get to auction, they have been publicised a great deal. Multiplied will give you the chance to see work by artists that you won’t usually see in auctions. Just seeing new art – some of it may be collectable, and some of it may not, but that’s the nature of buying contemporary art.
What advice would you give to someone taking a chance on an emerging artist?
I think you just have to be clear about your criterion. If you’re buying work by a young graduate, you can only assess based on the quality of the work. If you’re really looking to buy work for investment, then it’s a good idea to aim for an artist who is represented by a good up-and-coming gallery who will be committed to that artist. Other things to look out for are reviews, and publications writing about ‘the ones to watch’. Try to be informed.
What would be a realistic starter budget for Multiplied?
There will be work available in the £200 to £500 bracket, but the majority of works will be in the £1,000 to £5,000 bracket.
What would be your ideal piece of art?
I think I would probably be tempted by an Old Master print. I am a great fan of Rembrandt and Dürer. I would probably go for Adam and Eve by Dürer.
What’s your best advice for someone buying art for the first time?
Buy with your heart. You can get a little weighed down with the idea of investment, and I think the best choices are made subjectively. Ultimately, art is something that is going to hang on your wall – otherwise it would be like buying a fast car and not driving it. You need to buy art that you want and appreciate.
Multiplied Art Fair, 17-20 October will take place at Christie’s, 85 Old Brompton Road SW7 3LD; christies.com/multiplied