Buying art is not just a purchase; it’s an invitation to move in with the buyer

Dallas News | Lauren Smart

I had decided to take the monkey painting home from The Public Trust before I looked at the price tag. Anyone who frequents galleries knows the feeling of art love at first sight. Buying a work of art is not like any other kind of shopping. It’s just not a purchase; it’s an invitation to move in with the buyer. This was what I wanted to do for Ascension, a painting of a bright white monkey perched atop a pile of bananas by Austin-based artist Manik Raj Nakra. The painting cost $1,500. It wasn’t an unreasonable asking price; it just wasn’t a check I wanted to cut outright. The Public Trust’s owner, Brian Gibb, suggested Art Money, a program he’d recently enrolled the gallery in that offers interest-free loans for art purchases.

The New York-based company was initially founded in Sydney in 2015 by Australian entrepreneur, Paul Becker, with the goal of cultivating art collectors who want to keep their cash fluid. Art Money has slowly rolled out across the United States in cities with young, vibrant art markets. It arrived in Dallas in early 2017 — one of the earliest U.S. cities outside of major art markets like New York or Los Angeles. Here’s how it works: The buyer enrolls in a loan to be paid off in 10 payments — the deposit on the work counts as the first payment. Art Money takes 10 percent of the sale from the gallery with the upfront guarantee of the money. When the exhibition comes down, the art can immediately be installed in the buyer’s home. Ascension was the first sale Gibb made through Art Money, which also works with Dallas galleries Ro2 Art, Circuit12 Contemporary and Liliana Bloch Gallery…read more

Image: ‘Ascension’ by Austin artist Manik Raj Nakra is an oil paint on canvas and wood, 48in x 36in painting.