Thursday, 12 March 2009


Living in rental properties (in more than one country) for as long as we have, O and I have collected very little in the way of art. Getting permission to bang nails in the wall was more than most landlords would grant us. We do have a small collection of important (to us) pieces, including:

The John Bates, the only piece of original art I have ever bought.
A large Warhol-esque canvas of me at 1 year old by an Irish artist whose name escapes me (not as narcissistic as it sounds, it was a 30th birthday present from my Father and Stepmother)
A low number limited edition print of the river Dart (a present to O from his parents)

It is undoubtedly a disparate collection.

With a new house to decorate we have been considering art for the walls but have hit two problems:

1) We haven't really ever focused on art before as it wasn't an option and so find the number of options bewildering
2) We don't want to spend huge amounts of money, especially if there is a risk that as our taste develops we might fall out of love with it.

Which is why when this month's Time Out Amsterdam arrived I was delighted to find an article on Art for Rent.

The concept is perfect for us. For a monthly fee (which includes rent, insurance and administration) you can choose art to go on your walls. It will be delivered to your home and then it is just a matter of choosing where you want it to go.

Depending on which scheme you participate in you can choose from original paintings, prints, sculptures. If you want to change a piece you just select another and swap them over.

After a bit of research we have decided to use the scheme run by SBK. Membership of SBK starts at 5 Euros per month but typically you will pay 1% of the cost of the piece you are renting. SBK put all the rental cost in savings for you and when you wish to, you can draw on this to purchase art from their collection.

With over 55,000 pieces from 5,000 artistsI am hopeful there will be something we like. I am also encouraged that they work directly with the artists and that they focus on local art.

Every week they update their virtual gallery which you can browse around by clicking on the doors.

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