Words by:Sydney Wasserman, AD CLEVER
Hopefully it’s no secret that we’re all about hacky ways to get cool art on our walls. We encourage (and practice!) making your own, hanging a child’s colourful work, saving on frames, and even cheating the system entirely by printing out free images. At this point, there is very little excuse to not have something interesting on your walls, in our humble opinion. But we also recognize that having real art by real artists has its benefits: For starters, hopefully the artist’s work gets more valuable with time, and suddenly you have a lucrative capital asset, just like a real adult.
And then, of course, there’s the rewarding sense of owning a piece that you can proudly display in your home and feeling like an art connoisseur when company stops and stares. But everyone knows the downside to original artwork is that it comes with a dollar sign followed by many, many zeros, even when the artist is fairly undiscovered.
We’re not saying artists don’t deserve every penny of that price tag, but chances are you don’t have that kind of dough lying around for a spontaneous treat-yo-self kind of moment. (Real talk: Budgeting is hard).
That’s where this genius service called Art Money comes in to change everything you thought you knew about collecting art. Founded in 2015 by entrepreneur Paul Becker, Art Money provides interest-free loans on artwork valued between $1,000 (R12 575) (and $50,000 (approximately R634 465) from more than 600 galleries in the United States. Collectors must pay 10 percent of the total cost as a deposit and then can pay the rest of the loan off over a 10-month period. That means the next time you’re sipping free wine at open gallery night and come across a $2,500(about R31 723) painting you really, really have to have (and it’s not the wine talking), you could use an Art Money loan to purchase it and only have to drop $250 (R3 172) that night and then $225 ( approximately R2 855) monthly for the following 10 months. Buyers remorse begone! Or at least temporarily diminished.
Even better, there are truly zero interest and no initiation fees for signing up. You must be approved for the loan before buying anything, of course, which requires good credit and a minimum annual income of $30,000 (about R380 679) from all sources, including other investments. How, you ask? Art Money receives a discount on the piece from the gallery, which covers what a normal interest fee would be.
The whole point is to encourage young art enthusiasts to actually collect works. “The misconception that art is only for the wealthy is my pet hate,” said Becker in an interview with Artsy. “There is such a rich ecosystem of quality and value beyond the obvious and expensive tiers.” According to Becker, about 10 percent of the people using Art Money are in their 20s and are creative professionals. Sound familiar? Apply for an Art Money loan now and never feel intimidated by original artwork again.