Going to a contemporary art photography gallery is an opportunity to check out interesting works and potentially add something of interest to your collection. Finding value in photographic prints, however, requires asking some questions and looking at small details. Paying attention to these five concepts will help you get the most out of your next trip to a photography gallery.
One of the easiest ways to add some value to a purchase is to see that it has the artist's signature. If you have the chance to catch someone who's just beginning to arrive, getting a signed copy of an early image from a photography art gallery can be a cheap investment that comes with an exciting narrative. Should you find a print that doesn't presently have a signature, don't hesitate to ask the director about how to obtain one.
Like anyone else who displays work at a contemporary art gallery, a photographer wants to be able to limit production in order to drive value. If an artist can commit to and verify print run counts, similar to how a lithographer might approach the same situation, it can assure more value, especially in the age of digital photography.
For any artist, establishing a brand that's accompanied by a defined style is important. Certain styles tend to sell better, so it helps to develop an eye for what the best people in certain genres are doing. You may be able to identify an up-and-comer and have a chance to purchase an early print that can significantly enhance your collection.
In the photography collecting world, the closer a print is produced to the original capture of an image, generally the more appealing it is. Having some evidence of when a print was created will bring value to an item. A photography gallery is there to bring buyers and artists together, so don't hesitate to ask to be put in contact.
Not all photographic techniques allow the artist to easily produce additional prints, and some methods only permit the production of a single print. For example, many photographers are working in metal plate techniques that produce incredibly high-resolution images. While images can be scanned and used to produce replica prints, there will only be one original plate. If you're buying from an established artist, this is a good way to assure the uniqueness of a picture.