If you’re sick of staring at blank walls but you’re not sure where to start with buying art, it’s worth registering for Artbid’s next online sale. The new Australian platform has been designed to make art more accessible, while also championing artists who have previously been underrepresented in traditional gallery spaces.

Tapping into the urgency and excitement of auctions, the team behind Artbid plans to host monthly sales featuring works created exclusively for the platform by emerging artists.

“It’s really important [for Artbid] to present a varied and dynamic group of artists. Some have just graduated from art school and others have been practising, creating and selling independently for years,” says Artbid’s guest curator Zoe Paulsen. “We’re looking for artists that are truly passionate about what they do, creating really good and interesting work.” Bernard Greaves, Heidi Lai and Miranda Smith are some of the names Paulsen has collaborated with for the inaugural auction.

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The first digital event is scheduled for 5pm on Sunday September 17, with 56 lots of contemporary Australian art. You can check out the catalogue, register for bidding and create a shortlist in the lead-up. And there’s an option to leave an absentee bid if you’re not able to join the live auction but fall in love with one of the works.

Buying art online has its downfalls. The team behind Artbid recognises this and has designed the digital catalogue to include comprehensive overviews of each piece. Artist biographies are listed alongside descriptions of the works. In situ images give a sense of scale, while close-ups offer more details, like texture and tone. An online form provides the opportunity to ask specific questions before the auction.

Price guides are listed in the catalogue – estimates for the first auction’s lots range from $500 to $4000. Just like in a classic auction, a reserve price is set for each piece. A 12 per cent buyer’s premium is added to the final price of the work. This is lower than industry standards, which generally sit around 20 to 25 per cent.

All artworks sold are “ready to hang”. Depending on the piece, this could mean framed or stretched canvas – you can find specifics for each work in the catalogue. Delivery is free to most addresses in Australia, regardless of the size and weight of the artwork. Addresses in the Northern Territory, Tasmania and some remote or regional areas are exceptions, but shipping quotes can be provided for exempt postcodes prior to the auction.

Artbird's debut auction is at 5pm on September 17, 2023.


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