Interviews

Who Goes to NY Art Fairs? Emerging Collectors at Scope

by Hrag Vartanian on March 6, 2011

A view of Roberta's cafe at the Scope art fair

This is the fourth and final in our Emerging Collectors at the Fairs series, sponsored by 20×200, which traveled to various art fairs and asked visitors why they attended the New York art fairs, if they collect art, and how they know if they like a work of art.

In this post we traveled to the Scope art fair in SoHo.

The crowd at this fair was more diverse than most of the other art fairs, and it included a number of everyday people curious to see some art, find out what all the buzz was about with the art fairs, and possibly buy something.

Here is who and what I found on a Saturday night in SoHo.

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The Emerging Collectors at the Fairs series is supported by 20×200, the place to buy art online. 20×200 offers limited-edition fine art prints at ridiculously affordable prices. Learn more about 20×200 here.

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Gabriel Pena, art collector, New York

“I’m familiar with the art scene. I went to Miami Art Basel last year and I just came here to check the scene … I would like to buy something but I have to find something I really like and in my price range. I’m just looking and I’ll wait till tomorrow to take a bigger look at everything and see if there is something I want to buy … I don’t know how [I know when I like something] but I tend to like abstract painting so I think it’s a matter of how it hits you and what you like, it’s a difficult question … you might like something but you don’t want to put it in your apartment … ”

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Taylor Vecchio, art fan, Eastern Long Island

“I just like to look at art, I guess … somethings are annoying like naked people and public hair but I like things that are more complex and interesting. A lot of people have talent, so I’m just trying to stay away from the annoying stuff … [in terms of collecting art] I have weird stuff I collect, like [things I] steal from doctors’ offices and stuff … ”

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Fontilla Howie, art fan, New Jersey

“My cousin is a curator for one of the galleries here in New York so he invited me to come … I find this amazing, very innovative, a lot of ideas, things that are being used that I never thought could be used for art but it is … I collect some black art pieces but I’m looking to expand. I just bought a new home and I’m looking for ideas … I think I’ll buy something this weekend.”

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Melissa Marr, works with an artist, New York

“I collect art on a limited basis. I’m here to look around … we had gone to Scope in Miami and we liked it and that’s why we came back to this fair. It’s great to see the new emerging art … [how do I know if I like a work?] it’s a tough question but it’s a question of do you respond to it visually or aesthetically … I haven’t seen anything that has tickled my fancy yet but we just got here.”

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Nicole Roumelioti, artist, Greece

“I won an internet competition with Saatchi Online and I brought a painting to exhibit in the Saatchi booth … I don’t buy art yet.”

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Mariana Marron (right), architect who appreciates art, New York

“My half-sister is exhibiting here with a French gallery … I live with art because my father-in-law is a painter and my husband draws portraits with pencil but we can’t afford to buy art at this level right now. I like positive art, there’s not necessarily a lot of that here. If it evokes something positive and elevates my spirit positively than I think that’s one thing, there is other work that is interesting and has some depth to it that I’m attracted to and want to understand but I wouldn’t necessarily want to have in my home … ”

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Kev Foxworth, spectator, Queens, NY

“I walked by and thought I’d check it out. It’s really interesting … I saw some huge molds of popsicles up front and I thought that was interesting … I know when I like something because it’s an instant gratification thing for me, it’s there … I have art at home from friends who make art.”

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Lea Chang, art student/intern, Florida/interning in New York

“I appreciate art … all my friends are artists and illustrators … I’m used to being around art all the time. I know when I like something because of the complexity of it. If I can see the talent in it then I appreciate it.”

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Mia Aibelstatany, art fan, New York / Margo Zaus, art fan, New York

“There are a lot of interesting things to see … We have a lot of art in our house, but obviously I don’t buy it myself because I’m still a teen … I feel that in order to like art I have to find an emotional connection.” — Mia

“Our parents are in the art business … I think it’s really inspiring to come and get inspired to do stuff  yourself … [I know if I like something] just by looking at it … sometimes I think ‘That’s cool,’ other times ‘Wow, that’s creepy’ … ” — Margo

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The Emerging Collectors at the Fairs series is supported by 20×200, the place to buy art online. 20×200 offers limited-edition fine art prints at ridiculously affordable prices. Learn more about 20×200 here.

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