The Curator’s Eye recently spoke with Anthony Smith of asart, based in London, England, about the results and experience delivered to his business by The Curator’s Eye (http://www.CuratorsEye.com/). The discussion covered his history as a dealer, the art that excites him most, and the way he has incorporated The Curator’s Eye into his current business model.
Anthony Smith Opts For Online Business Model With Reduced Overhead
After studying law, Smith reports, “I became absolutely fascinated by both the artwork and the process of creating art, so much so that I then read art history at university.” He went on to establish his own business which has evolved through the years, though always with a focus on Asian and Australian art. The current iteration has “been online now for around eight years and this has been the major driver of business. Collectors are accessing the Net more than ever and many feel more comfortable searching and buying online. Added to that, we can offer work below high street gallery pricing as we don't have those overheads to consider.”
He goes on, saying, “We ran galleries up until eighteen months ago. In fact, we were looking at opening a new gallery in London, however, the on-costs made it so prohibitive that it was not economically viable.” If his gallery had opened a new storefront, Smith says, “We would have had to raise our prices substantially just to cover charges and this would have been a disservice to our clients.”
“The Curator’s Eye cares about the success of its members. That is a rare thing and one we all appreciate.”
Having embraced a streamlined, online-only business model to give clients the best prices, Smith has considered his online strategy. He says, “It is the curated, elite sites that I see as being the future of true collecting and of online art spaces. Those that offer a different "experience". The Curator’s Eye is an example of such a site.” He goes on, saying “The Curator’s Eye is the future of serious collecting. The Curator’s Eye also cares about the success of its members. That is a rare thing and one that we all appreciate.” He reports that signing up and listing items “has been a simple process due to the ongoing and helpful assistance we always receive from The Curator’s Eye.”
“Curator’s Eye clients have a more developed ‘eye’.”
“The Curator's Eye has credibility that the vast majority of art related sites just don't have. The new clients we have met through The Curator’s Eye have been keen to learn, knowledgeable in their own right and far more open to what is happening outside their area of expertise or collecting. The overall impression I have is that Curator’s Eye clients have a more developed ‘eye’.” According to Smith, these new, informed clients mostly hail from the US, Hong Kong, France, Germany, and Australia.
Smith’s most popular items on The Curator’s Eye come from two of his areas of specialization. One is Hong Kong Angel, a contemporary painting by Thai artist Pairoj Karndee. Smith says he is drawn to “the new, the contemporary, the "international" feel of Pairoj's works. His works are simply beautiful and always create an impact wherever they are shown.” Another is Dogwood Tree Dreaming by Liddy Napanangka Walker, which Smith describes as “the depiction of a story, an ancient story called a ‘Dreaming.’ These ‘dreamings’ are thousands of years old and are the ‘property’ of one family, one ‘skin group’.” He says, “It is often the depth of the culture within these works coupled with their beauty that creates the interest. Liddy’s works are spectacular. Her use of colour is sophisticated.”
“The Curator’s Eye is one of the ‘elite’ sites….It is the future of serious collecting.”
With his extensive experience in the online art arena, Smith is well-positioned to comment on trends in the online marketplace. He finds that many e-commerce sites “are for the most part unvetted and/or have not been curated to the level that any potential collector would expect.” Candidly, he says “They are just merchandising art as if it were the same as selling soup.”
However, he maintains that “the major international auction houses are looking at this whole area differently and are offering quality work, limited in its supply.” Indeed, Smith considers one of the benefits of listing on The Curator’s Eye as “to be in the midst of such esteemed dealers who are displaying quality work has to be seen as a positive.”
“I feel that The Curator’s Eye is one of the ‘elite’ sites that does offer the rare, the original. It is the future of serious collecting,” Smith concludes.
The Curator’s Eye is the distinctive online platform for the finest art and antiques from distinguished dealers around the world. To view more exceptional items for the discerning private collector available from top dealers across the globe, visit www.CuratorsEye.com.
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A scholarly online exhibition connecting museums, collectors, and dealers with the finest art and antiques available on the market.