If you’re at The Armory Show of 20th and 21st century art this weekend and are considering the purchase of a sculpture by Samuel Biggers, an emerging artist who often obliquely tackles political themes, you might consider snapping a photo of the piece and sending it to Andrea Danese, CEO of Athena Art Finance.

That’s Danese’s expectation of what collectors ready to buy a work will do during the annual art fair held at Piers 92 and 94 in Manhattan today through Sunday. The texts and photos will arrive with a question: “‘How much will you lend me If I go ahead and buy this?’” Danese says.

Since the one-time credit derivatives specialist founded Athena, with backing from The Carlyle Group and Pictet Group’s private equity unit three years ago, Athena has been finding ways to help collectors finance new pieces as well as lend against their art collections. The firm also provides financing to galleries, art dealers and auction houses—businesses that can’t count on a smooth cash flow year-to-year, a scenario that won’t do for a traditional bank lender, Danese says. Read more