"The art world, really more than any other world I can think of, is a global village," said Barbara Gladstone, owner of the Gladstone Gallery. She should know. With two galleries in New York and one in Brussels that represent artists in London, Germany and Italy, she is constantly traveling. While she is abroad, she buys art, too, whether from a gallery or a street market. Here is an edited chat with her.
Say you're interested in buying art while in London. What should you keep in mind?
Before you go, bone up on what interests you and contact the gallery that represents the artists you're interested in. Once you're there, whoever's helping will show you those artists and perhaps a few others they think you might like. Get all the information and then go home. If you still want a piece, contact the gallery and buy it. Impulse shopping, I don't do or advocate.
Is there ever an occasion when you should buy art on the spot?
At art fairs, because if you don't, it will be gone; the dealers are going to sell it. Be open to discovering something new. Art Basel in Switzerland every June is the mother of all art fairs, and its Miami Beach branch in December has gotten better and better. European Fine Art Fair in Maastricht, in the Netherlands in March, has so many different kinds of things -- objects, paintings, furniture, textiles, from prehistoric to contemporary.
Any recommendations for antiques hunting?
The market at Place du Grand Sablon in Brussels is quite nice. In Tuscany, you can go to the antiques market in Arezzo, which is vast and a lot of fun. Portobello in London. The Marché aux Puces outside Paris. The souks in Morocco -- there you have to know the good from the bad, because some antiques were made yesterday.
And if you do buy something abroad, how do you get it home?
Most artwork is shipped by plane, but with heavy pieces like furniture or ceramics, you're better off shipping by boat. It may take two weeks longer, but the cost is much more reasonable. All of the tax forms and protocols are different in each country. For instance, the U.S. doesn't have a duty on art, but many European countries do. It's complicated, so you have to put yourself in the dealer's hands and use the shipper they recommend.
-- Emily Brennan, New York Times