Affordable art in Moscow
Whether for interior decoration, a desire to begin collecting or just love at first sight for an artwork, there are many reasons to buy art. Because we Muscovites are not all oligarchs, and because the Russian art market can be very difficult to access, affordable art is the easiest way to satisfy a craving for owning art.
On this page I’ve created and will keep updating a list of places, events and websites where you can indulge in your buying fever.
Action Dice / Акцион Кости
Selling art or collecting can be a work of art itself. In the vein of performance and immersive theater, Anna and Vitaly created a game for anybody interested to play and buy art at the amount shown by a throw of the dice. They have already hosted eight auctions and, in between these events, they travel the country and meet their artist friends to build a collection that will be put into play. Stroll around the exhibition and grab and roll the dice: the the first number that comes up indicates how many digits the cost of the work should contain. If three, then roll three more times to obtain the hundreds, tens and units: this creates the price you have to pay for the artwork of your choice.
This festival of independent artists is a joyful mix of prints, arty gifts and artworks. You can also get your hands dirty and get creative by attending a workshop. The next edition will take place on 28 April 2019 at the library on Bolshaya Cherkizovskaya, 4k1.
Check out tasters and teasers of upcoming events on Instagram.
Print Market / Taste of paper - вкус бумаги
Several times a year, in creative places such as Garage Museum, DI Telegraph or Tsvetnoy Center, the Print Market team gathers artists, illustrators and fanzines in a great atmosphere to talk with the creators. It is a lithography, Linocut and cyanotype paradise with a more limited selection of photos, drawings and paintings. If you are looking for some value, pay attention to limited editions and author’s copies.
The 4th edition of the Art Book Fair will be held in Garage on 24 - 26 May 2019.
Famous in French arty communities, Muriel Rousseau is a Russified creative mind from Brittany. Few years ago, tired of seeing galleries closing and fewer opportunities for artists to meet their audience, she and her friends created a cooperative and pooled resources to organise exhibitions together. From emerging artists to great names of the late-20th century, Moskoop exhibitions are an opportunity to rub shoulders with people from all walks of life. Why not begin your collection with a photo from photographers Laure Debrosse or Tim Parchikov or an object from Vitas Staciunas or Dmitry Bulnigin ?
Vladey: Auction ВСЁ ПО 100
In a more intimidating yet also playful way, Vladey, the Russian auction house, hosts an auction every Winter where prices for every lot start at 100€.
The last one took place on 19 February 2019 in Vinzavod. Starting from 100€, the hammer fell on amounts ranging from 300€ to 10,000€ - prices tended to settle on the higher end of the scale. The catalogue was eclectic, from street art to installation and mostly very contemporary. As always, the show is also in the room: the talkative energy of Vladimir Ovcharenko, the auctioneer, contrasted with the diaphanous stillness of his assistant, the discreets nods of veteran collectors echoed the notifications of telephone bids and the sighing of those who could not follow the rise of the auction.
Follow them on Facebook to know more about upcoming auctions.
Even though most Moscow galleries have an active website displaying their wares, it doesn’t mean it’s in your price range. Thankfully, some galleries specialised in affordable art also use the internet as a sales platform. Among those, here is my selection.
On ArtBrut’s website, everybody should be able to find a painting for their walls. This online gallery offers a wide selections of mediums, sizes and prices, focusing on decorative impact. They take pride in “unique items for exceptional interiors”.
Obdnnie - Объединение
This more edgy online gallery focusing on emerging artists offers a very interesting alternative. Anna and Polina transformed from artists to gallerists with inspiration and their selection will make you dive in the young, arty and up and coming scene. They propose pieces by artists exhibited in the more institutional Triumph of RuArts Gallery but in a different - accessible - price range. If you’re ever near Pokrovka, they have also just opened a shared studio/gallery space to touch base.
Cubed Art Shop
The new arty place to be is in the very heart of Moscow, at the Ritz. Go down to level -2 and enter Cube, an art space shared between galleries booths and temporary exhibitions. The space is complete with a coffee shop, and in the just-opened Cubed Art Shop you can find a selection of prints, T-shirts, tableware and other curiosities: from Malevich-like matryoshkas to the Rubik Venus by Aristarkh Chernyshev.
Title picture : Money does not stink by Liza Shtormit.
About the artwork :
“December 4, at the Winzavod, I presented my new aroma installation ( olfactory) : the project "Money does not stink."
Marcel Broodthaers created a fictitious "Museum of Modern Art " and then publicly declared its bankruptcy. Spectators could participate in the fate of the museum by buying a gold bar with the museum's marking at a price twice the market value. In memory of this promotion, I create my ingot. But there are no stamps on it, markings and the name of the bank. This is a faceless symbol of the modern art market.
The series “Money does not stink” is a product of industrial production, the artist’s hands almost did not touch the objects. Iron sheets, inscriptions, ingot, fabric and bollard were manufactured by factories. What is it? Art or product? How should the price of these works be formed? Can I declare a high cost or request only compensation for materials? Will the works increase in price if a legend is invented and a detailed description is attached ? And how much is the idea worth? For me it was important to create a series in which I embody my idea by the means of others' skills. And almost not in contact with art. Is it important for what you got the money and how much real art can cost?
Initially, the ingot was supposed to smell like shit, because the expression "Money does not stink" was born in ancient Rome, when the emperor imposed a tax on toilets. But since we can not install special huge hoods, it scents of iron and orange! Stunning and delicate aroma skilfully created specifically for the project. The aroma composition "Ingot(gold bar)" was made by perfumer Irina Vaganova.
Special thanks to Valya Samoylenko.
Material: sheets of stainless steel 76x76 cm, oracal, plywood. An ingot (gold bar) - polyfoam, gypsum, acryl.
To be continued…
Please share your favorite affordable art adresses.