“I’m trying to revolutionize the way art is bought,” says Kevin Vogel, founder of FineArtEstates.com, a new service in the world of art acquisition. The site went live earlier this month, and while still getting its feet off the ground, there’s already a lot of promise.
Conceived with interior designers, art consultants, and architects in mind, Fine Art Estates is a website that improves the process of finding, tracking, assessing, and acquiring fine art for clients.
The site’s main features are two-fold. The first is an ever-expanding catalog of works that originate from artists’ estates and collections. These works are sourced and uploaded to the site by professional dealers who work in concert with Fine Art Estates to bring original paintings, drawings, sculpture, fine prints, and photographs to the public.
This is where things get radical. Instead of starting at the lowest bidding price and working upwards, like a traditional art auction, Fine Art Estates inverts the process through the Serrace Sales System. The artwork is listed at its full retail price first and decreases in price over a prescribed period of time. A schedule of up to seven price drops and times are included with each artwork, so buyers can see exactly when a piece is going to fit in their budget. Email and text alerts can be set so interested buyers know the second a price has dropped.
The second feature will be particularly exciting for designers. It’s a hassle to buy a piece of art and bring it into a space, only to realize that it doesn’t work there at all. Vogel aims to remove that frustration by allowing designers to place the artwork into the space through augmented reality. Designers will have the option to import photos onto the website or use the iOS app in conjunction with a printed target to see what a piece would look like in the room. The artwork’s perspective and brightness can be adjusted, and a rudimentary frame can be added, as well.
“There are so many considerations that go into adding art into a space,” Vogel says. “This site was designed to resolve both the inefficiencies of estate sales in the art world and the laborious process of incorporating art into interior design.”
For now, Vogel is working with a small group of dealers, but he wants to expand his reach. His plan is to ultimately have one dealer for each mid-sized city and several dealers in major metropolitan areas. He also wants to incorporate artists’ personal collections into the catalog alongside their oeuvres.
“I truly believe this is the most democratic art buying site that’s out there,” Vogel says. “This is a one-stop shop for interior designers and clients wanting art as an integral part of the space.”