It was the 31st of December 2019 and my phone alerted me to an incoming email which had the subject “NICE! You just got an order. An order has just been placed on your online store”, the message informed me. I clicked on the view order to see which art piece was purchased and behold it was a piece created in 2009 – 10 years before. What a way to end the 10th anniversary of Shiri Achu Art since the very first exhibition in London in 2009.
Barbara, that was her name. I scanned my brain to conjure up all the Barbaras I knew, but none emerged with the same surname. I checked the location to find out where it would have to be delivered to and saw it was a 45-minute drive from me. I decided I would take it to her personally, meet her and thank her for sealing my 10th Anniversary with this beautiful and timely purchase, of the timeless piece.
We made the arrangements and I drove to her, to personally hand-deliver her painting. Barbara was excited to meet me in person and told me so. She told me she had seen the same print in her neighbor’s house (her neighbor turned out to be an ex-colleague of mine) and absolutely fell in love with it. I was touched. She was so gracious and pulled a chair for me to sit and we chatted for an hour, about art and what inspired my art, etc. My gracious client showed me some fabulous pieces of art that she had collected on her travels. It turned out to be a wonderful meeting. Later she sent a message:
I wanted to let you know that I did decide to hang your painting in the Dining Room. As you know (because, basically it was your idea), it looks great there and works really well with the painting from Vietnam.
I also want to thank you, again, for personally delivering the painting to me. It was really nice to meet you and discuss your art and art in general. Another bonus of the personal delivery was the ideas you gave me about the best place to hang your painting!
Thanks, Shiri for everything. And be sure to let me know when you’re having a show!
On to the second story… of a wonderful lady that I know personally, who had visited my exhibition at The Cameroon Embassy in November 2019 and ordered 3 pieces! She requested a personal touch—that I bring the paintings so I could help hang them up. Of course, I agreed. Not only would I be ensuring they arrived in perfect condition, but also I’d have the thrill of immediately selecting a location in her home for display of my artwork and seeing it beautify her living/dining room space!
We took our time, deliberating our options, and with several attempts and adjustments to get them perfectly aligned, we succeeded; and she was pleased. I must admit that I was too. I had to take this photo.
It is pandemic 2020, and a moment to take things in. As I reflect on the pre-pandemic era, 2019 and the preceding years, I’m intrigued by the relationship between the artist and the art collector.
I’m motivated to ponder: Do buyers of art really care or need to know about the artist—in any capacity? Or is knowing the artist and being able to relate with them a purely individual thing that varies by case and customer?
Over the past 10 years of selling Shiri Achu Art in various markets, art shows, and exhibitions around the world, I’ve come to learn that my presence, ability to relate with the buyer, and being present to explain or answer any questions helps in sales! Typically, my customers like to meet me and know where I’m coming from. They often want to know the story behind the art, and often appreciate my own story, as the creator of the artwork that will become a part of their lives. There have been a few cases, where my art really did speak for itself (in the case of the first lady who purchased online) when they were purchased without my presence, insight, or explanation. I must admit that I really do appreciate these kind of ‘unique’ art collectors, too.
What are your thoughts about the relationship between the artist and the art collector?