With a thick new catalog debuting this week, Saatchi Art’s free art advisory program is making hand-selected art, ranging in price from $100 to $30,000, easily available to interior designers. The company’s chief curator, Rebecca Wilson, formerly director at the Saatchi Gallery, London, discusses how she finds new homes for the paintings, photographs, sculptures and drawings sourced via Saatchi’s incredible network of 50,000 artists from around the globe.
The process is a simple one: Wilson reviews each project as it comes in. A member of her three-advisor team takes on the project based on her own preferences, skills and expertise, and works directly with the designer from beginning to end, taking into consideration floor plans, photographs and other details of the client’s home. The curatorial team then delivers the designer a selection of recommended pieces for the space in question. (Most of the artworks supplied are original paintings, sculptures and limited-edition photography.) While the average time to select art is four to six months—the length depends on the back-and-forth between the designer, client and art advisor—the art is delivered within 11 to 14 days, via Saatchi’s in-house shipping company.
“We have a very good strike rate with a lot of designers who keep coming back to us for several projects,” says Wilson, who also occasionally does site visits in New York and Los Angeles.
Wilson’s advice for clients and designers alike? Budget for art early in the process, like one of Wilson’s clients: “I gave my recommendations, and now that’s helping them to determine furniture and rugs. They’re thinking about [design] all together, which is really exciting.”
The storied art leader’s reach and noted name are two boons for designers: As Wilson says, if a client “is interested in surrealism, abstract or both, it’s much easier for them to come to us than go to lots and lots of different galleries. Those are [processes] we can speed up for designers. As a gallery, we work directly with the artists. We have an incredible name and reputation as a result of our brand.”
“Many, many artists want to work with us,” says Wilson. “We’re so lucky to have this fantastic inventory.”