Pro Tips! How to Kickstart + Keep Track of Your Art Collection
Jen Bekman's NYC apartment, featuring LOTS of art
Our fearless founder and head curator Jen Bekman has some boss-level insider insights on art collecting. Read on for how to track down art that's right up your alley, stay in the know on what's new, and keep tabs on your growing collection...
- Set yourself an annual budget and stick to it. That means a maximum and a minimum, so you encourage yourself to spend that minimum to keep exploring your aesthetic and expanding your collection. It doesn't need to be an extravagant amount—on $100 a year, you can end up with at least four 20x200 prints, after all! The goal is to find the right financial fit and keep the art coming, no matter what your means.
- Find an artist you like and follow them. Sign up for their email list or sign up for their gallery/galleries email list. Any gallery that puts on a show with their work may also be a good source—and it’s possible their curator will cue up someone else whose work you’ll be into. Follow the artist’s various social media accounts. You can even set up a Google alert on their name, which isn't as stalker-y as it sounds, we swear.
- Commit to going to a certain number of art-related events every year. Once a month! Once a week! Tell yourself you’ll go a couple times a week if you’re feeling gung ho. The point is to expose yourself (not like that) to what’s out there and support the arts in the meantime. Open studios, talks, museum shows, art fairs, auctions, etc.—plan it out in advance and plan to go with someone you like (so you won’t bail last minute).
- Always keep the paperwork. Great art often comes with documentation. Every 20x200 edition is accompanied by an artist statement and signed Certificate of Authenticity. For our custom-framed editions, those items are attached to the back of the frame in a clear sleeve, but some people prefer to store them separately—in a filing cabinet or wherever the rest of your art documentation hangs out. We recommend retaining your art purchase receipts as well so you have a record of when you bought the piece and for how much.
- Follow folks with a penchant for unearthing awesome, interesting art. Hyperallergic, Art F City, Black Contemporary Art, and Colossal are a few of our many favorites. And that’s just websites! You can fill your social feeds with people mining the internet for new, cool art. There are bajillions of incredible resources out there, ripe for the picking through for new dream pieces to add to your collection.
- Traveling is the perfect excuse….errr, opportunity for art buying. Collecting art while on vacay is one of Jen’s personal favorite exploits. Sometimes the artwork is directly related to a place she’s visiting, but that’s not a requirement. Living with that work will always remind you of your amazing week in Paris and the bookstore you found that lithograph in. That cool letterpress you bought at a maker’s market during a quick weekend away to LA will make all that sunshine funtime feel close at hand on the dreariest of winter days. Finding a piece abroad to add to your home collection is a great way to cement the memory of your travels.
- See an artwork you love in a movie or TV show? Track it down. Set designers have great taste! 20x200 art has been featured on the sets of shows like Girls, Homeland and The Mindy Project. This isn't necessarily the easiest way to sleuth artists or work you like, but the general gist is: keep your eyes open! Inspiration is everywhere, and the thrill of the hunt can be part of the story too.
With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman + Team 20x200