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Start Buying Art 2013

Initiated by We Like Art founders Michiel Hogenboom and Carolien Smit, the Start Buying Art Fair currently on at the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam is aimed at a new audience of potential art buyers. 

By Cassandra Pizzey /asdf 05-09-2013

There are already a few concepts out there catering to the lower-priced side of art such as the Affordable Art Fair and Unseen Photo Fair – both also held at different locations at the Westergasfabriek – so why did We Like Art feel the need to organize another one? 

Organizer Michiel Hogenboom explains: “It’s very difficult to get a foot into the art world, it’s still rather self-centered. Here we are presenting not just affordable artworks (nothing above €1500) but they are by some very established artists.” 

Indeed, names such as Marlene Dumas, Piet Dieleman and Anouk Kruithof are among the artists exhibiting at the fair.

The We Like Art fair stems from the same-name website that offers a comprehensive overview of affordable artworks by contemporary artists. Through this website Hogenboom and Smit want to share their love of art by presenting high art in an accessible way to a group of beginning art buyers. They also help guide potential buyers through their first purchase. 

“We are lucky that all the top galleries decided to participate in this first edition. We asked for specific works by artists we liked and what resulted is a fair with new works and works specially made for We Like Art.” Be prepared to snap up a bargain at the fair as many of the artists lowered the price of their works to stay under the €1500 maximum. 

A mix of painting, photography, graphic design and even some sculptures and product design can be found inside the large hall of the Machinegebouw (machine building), one of the renovated yet still industrial-feeling buildings part of the Westergasfabriek. It’s the perfect location for a fair such as this, with a handful of companies, cafes and galleries catering to a young, dare we say hipster, audience. Each weekend the Westergasfabriek attracts a large crowd of young professionals with money to burn. For a mere €300 you be the owner of a Batman print by Krijn van Noordwijk and thanks to the Mondriaanfonds and its Kunstkoop or Buy Art scheme, even the higher priced pieces become accessible. 

This scheme is now mainly used by the more traditional buyers to finance their second or third artwork but is actually aimed at a younger audience of potential and starter buyers. See it as an investment plan with interest-free monthly payments, and at the end, you own the artwork. A good deal of the Dutch galleries (which also sell limited edition design pieces) is affiliated with Kunstkoop.

The We Like Art fair certainly seems very accessible and low key, and a good step onto the art buying ladder. The organizers hope to pull in a few thousand potential buyers in the coming days, “now let’s juts hope they get greedy when they see our prices!”

We Like Art @ Westergasfabriek runs until 8 September 2013

Main image: Johan Nieuwenhuize, IMG_0681 (2013) 

Other images: 1-3. Overview exhibition 4.Works by Koen Taselaar 5. Piet Dieleman, index nr 2011.3.6.022 (2011) 6. Martijn Schuppers, #13ZIO (Zoominsideout) (2013) 7.Krijn van Noordwijk, Beer

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