Art Money Founder + CEO Paul Becker On a More Accessible Market
Paul speaking on a panel at Superfine! DC 2018
Australian-born Art Money has become an integral chapter of the Superfine! story as an interest-free credit option for art-lovers to expand the threshold on their art collecting budget within the fair. We sat down with Art Money’s CEO and founder, Paul Becker, to get a glimpse into one of the minds spearheading a more accessible global art market.
Why did you decide to create Art Money?
I wanted to find a way to support artists and the contemporary art ecosystem. I see an art ‘market’ that is broken and inefficient – especially at the foundation level where most buyers, artists and galleries live. I believe we can increase demand and bring on the next generation of collectors by making it easier for people to engage and buy art on the one hand, and for artists/galleries to sell it on the other. A win win.
You've said that Art Money is about making art more accessible to more people - why is that important, both for artists and for collectors?
For buyers: Increasing access allows more people to bring art into their lives with all the rewards we know that brings (a flip side is breaking down the misconception that art is only for the wealthy).
For artists: We want to support artists earning income and making a living from their practice (not to mention support galleries, typically small business owners passionate about art).
The bigger picture: I believe a society who values culture and creativity is a more diverse, innovative and healthy society. The kind of society we want to live in.
What was the first piece of art you bought and why?
Gosh, not even sure I can remember, I tend to look forward not backwards. Depends on how you define ‘art piece’ too.
How do you learn about and find new artists that you're interested in?
By looking, and having an enquiring mind. Instagram, art fairs and gallery mailing lists mainly. Talking to the artist wherever possible, also the gallery owners.
What is your favorite aspect of finding and purchasing new artwork?
I pretty much only buy emerging artists, always primary market. I think it’s the most interesting space and I believe in supporting the artist. I’m initially drawn by the aesthetic, however my favorite part of the journey, and an essential one for me, is discovering the story behind the work, ideally straight from the artist.
What is your philosophy on collecting art?
Eclectic, no philosophy. I go with my guts and my heart. I hate following trends. Aesthetics, backed up by the story/meaning of the work. For reasons I can’t explain I seem to have work that is either very minimalist or very colourful, not a lot in between. I love Australian aboriginal art - amazing contemporary art from people of the worlds oldest continuous culture.
How do you want Art Money to change the art industry?
I want to empower more people to discover and purchase art. To increase demand, nurture the next generation of collectors, and support artists. I want to support culture and a sustainable creative economy.