If, like us at Stella + the Stars HQ, you're a massive art lover but don't have unlimited budget to give in to your cravings for original art and certainly can't handle the sometimes stuffy, intimidating vibe of traditional galleries to browse for that gem, then you're going to be all over this post, trust me.
You know what I am talking about. You walk past a gallery, you instantly fall in love with a piece displayed, you peek inside though the window, unsure, decide to finally step in, only to find yourself in the quietest space, with a keen gallery assistant looking at your every move while you try to squint so hard to see the price on the tiny little wall tag next to the piece without looking like a total loser... It's a bit like heading to a designer shop on London's Bond Street, just to browse... Lovely in principle (inspo and all that), but hellish in reality.
Then on the other end of the spectrum, you have online galleries (which I am A MASSIVE FAN OF by the way, check out my recent post on sourcing affordable art online) - they cleverly cut the middle man, and allow you to buy original art (or at least limited editions) without the physical gallery inflated price tag. However, it can be a bit overwhelming to browse through the catalogs, with very little help or advice, especially if you're a newbie and have no idea who the artists are.
So I am a tiny bit excited to introduce Predella House - an online art gallery, curating art 'for the culturally curious' that looks 'to break down the traditional barriers of elitist art purchasing' and open the doors into a new dimension of art buying. While offering support and advice to first time buyers. Sounds right up you strasse? Yep, mine too... The brainchild of Katrina Aleksa, the virtual gallery's founder, Predella House is like the perfect compromise between a physical and virtual gallery. See below a little amuse-bouche of the artists they're currently working with... And scroll down for my fave of the bunch...
To celebrate our little collab, Predella House is offering you, lovely Stella + the Stars readers, an exclusive discount - £25 off your first online purchase by entering the code STELLAANDTHESTARS at checkout.
Originally from Latvia, Predella House founder Katrina is a fine arts specialist who has lived and worked across Europe, after studying at the renowned Sotheby's Institute of Art in London. Katrina has an infectious passion for all things art, and consults with clients across the world, with contacts from California to New York, via Sydney, not forgetting her European roots of course.
From the artist's perspective, Predella House provides a platform for young artists to boost their careers and portfolio while giving them access to a brand new market they'd never be able to tap into using the traditional gallery route. It's very simple, but pretty genius, if you ask me.
I asked Katrina what makes Predella House stand out from the crows and her top tips on sourcing art: 'We offer fabulous hand picked artwork that does not break the bank. Beautiful artwork does not have to be expensive. I personally would suggest starting with prints and limited editions. It's such a wonderful experience hanging your first piece in your home that is reflection of your personality.'
Oh and did I mention that Katrina, and her lovely all-female team (#girlboss right there!) is possibly one of the nicest, kindest and most approachable person I have had the pleasure to meet? I spent a morning working with her and her team, helping style their photoshoot to showcase one of the newest photographers on her books, and it was instant girl crush. Katrina is currently working with a handful of artists, and the catalog keeps expanding with lots of new upcoming artists due to be added. There isn't anything I wouldn't personally buy on the site at the moment but I thought I'd present my three favourites.
Iona Rowland is a UK artist with a passion for deconstructing, reconstructing and abstracting the surfaces of the fashion industry, combined with its symbiotic relationship with sexuality. The piece below is called 'Love is a Lie'. The painting, depicting model Lindsey Wixson, was inspired by Botticelli's 'The Birth of Venus' and similarly explores representation of womanhood, love and lost innocence.
I discovered Sara's work (and here neon lips!) at last year's Affordable Art Fair and it was love at first sight. Sara is a British artist best knows for her seductive celebrity lips, boldness with contrast and shine gloss.
Her pieces available exclusively on Predella House start at £300 and are top of my wish list!
Argh, where do I start?! Kate Bellm works between fashion and art photography in London, Paris, Berlin and now lives in Majorca (clever girl) after travelling the world for four years to create her most recent pieces. Her work has been published in a bunch of high end fashion magazines including Vogue UK, Esquire, GQ, Vice, Tatler and Wonderland. If money was no object, Purple Cactus would be mine, like, right now. But, if you don't have a few grand in disposable income, you can still get a piece of the action, with her fabulous colourful screenprints (starting at £250). I have been dreaming of 'Cristobel' since I lay my eyes on the neon pink and yellow print a few weeks ago...
Want to start investing but still unsure where the hell to start? Predella House also offers seminars and masterclasses to help rookie art collectors and first time buyers with interior design workshops on how to incorporate art into your interior styling. Called #MakeBespoke, it is a partnership between Katrina and Marta Leitane, a fellow art and interior consultant specialist. The next event is coming up at the end of May. Click here for more details.
So what do you think of buying original art, from brilliant up and coming artists, online without the gallery price tag? Sold yet? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!