Sean Downey, Untitled, 2011. Oil on canvas, 14 x 18 inches. Courtesy the artist.
A few weeks ago there was a piece in The New York Times Contemporary and Boston, Opposites No Longer. If you’ve been following the local scene – you know that all the “big players” are beefing up their contemporary art holdings positioning their institution as global players and academic leaders.
The article describes this sea change and explores what the growth in interest by established institutions might mean for local collectors and galleries. Unsurprisingly, we learn that local collectors of “blue-chip” contemporary art don’t buy local, they play on the global market – New York, Miami, Basel, etc. According to the article, this segment of the market is small and Boston’s gallery scene is as well. In an effort to cheer on the budding scene, a local collector is quoted in the article, “People are just starting to realize that there are good galleries in Boston, but they have to have the confidence to buy artists before they have a New York gallery”.
We agree that proximity to New York will always impact local collectors looking for the big name artists. However, we think the potential for local market growth of emerging artist is huge. There are excellent artists in Boston, who are selling their work in New York galleries, but would love to have their work collected locally. Galleries are great, but they are not the only way to find quality work. So with a small edit, we think the collector quoted in The Times article would perfectly describe our philosophy, “People are just starting to realize that there are good artists in Boston, but they have to have the confidence to buy artists before they have a New York gallery”.