Don’t you hate it when you love and appreciate art and want to share it with the people you love but you can’t afford to buy it because you only work part time while you complete your degree and you have to spend all your money on necessities like rent, electricity, sushi, Netflix and culottes?
Well the latest project out of Sydney based art engagement company 10 group, Art Money, is aiming to make owning art possible for anyone who loves it. Not just those that can afford it.
Art Money CEO and founder Paul Becker says, “Art Money is really just money for art’s sake, it’s that simple.”
“Art Money provides interest free loans so that art lovers can purchase art.”
Ummm what? So the piece I fell in love with on the weekend but couldn’t afford could now be within my reach?
“Well yes, it’s almost that simple!” laughs Paul.
“As long as the piece is between $750 and $20,000 and you have a 10% deposit Art Money can provide an interest free loan so that you can purchase it on the spot.
“You can sign up for Art Money from home or right then and there in the gallery. After paying a 10 percent deposit, you can take your art home with you that day and pay the balance off over nine months, interest free,” Paul says.
Similar to government funded programs in the UK, Netherlands and Tasmania, as well as drawing on commercial principles, Art Money works by providing interest free loans to buy art at participating galleries.
While the concept of enjoying your favourite art from the comfort of your own home is incredibly enticing in itself, Paul says this project offers so much more.
“A program like Art Money can do so much for the sustainability and growth of art in Australia,” he says.
“It directly supports artists, galleries and the extended creative economy by introducing new buyers to contemporary art and by making engagement with artists and culture easier.
“The income goes to sustainability of creative practice and if we can do that with a commercially sustainable model, rather than a government grant, I think we are all better off.”
Paul believes that a vibrant arts culture can and should lead a country in its attitudes and its thinking – in a way, its belief in itself.
“I think art is vital in sustaining a richer, broader, diverse society capable of critical thinking,” Paul says.
“That thinking is reflected in our approach to everything from refugees and indigenous culture, to corporate problem solving and innovation. It goes to our confidence in ourselves as a world leading nation - impossible to measure, but makes a critical difference.”
Paul believes that Australians are more than ready for a program like Art Money and the chance to engage with art in a more risk free environment.
“I think Australians are increasingly engaging with arts and culture and that trend will continue” Paul says.
“You see it in our love of Festivals, in the fact that more people go to galleries than sport, and that we are increasingly sophisticated in our tastes in everything from food to fashion to art.
“I think art and culture will be increasingly integrated into our lifestyle and that’s a good thing.”
There are over 125 Art Money participating galleries throughout Australia and some internationally and the number keeps growing. But don’t worry if you can’t get to one of their galleries, they also update their Instagram with new pieces daily. If you see a piece you like, just get in touch with them.
“It’s a great buzz for an artist to know that someone loves their work enough to pay money for it - in fact that’s often more important than the money,” Paul says.
More information on applying for Art Money, as well as a list of participating galleries, can be found here.