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Experts' views on Eastern European art and buying art online

For our first Interview we asked a Hungarian art historian living in Turkey and two Polish art gallery owners to speak about their view on the labelling of Eastern European Art, the particular attractiveness this art has on collectors and their openness to buying art online. Their own experience with collecting art and their preferences shades a personal light on the practices of Eastern European art professionals.

Katarzyna Borucka

Katarzyna Borucka combines professional career in business with passion for the art of photography. A graduate from the Faculty of English Philology at the University of Gdansk and the High College of Photography at the Polish Association of Art Photographers in Warsaw. In April 2012 she opened Lookout Gallery in Warsaw, which has already become one of the highlights on the Warsaw art scene.

  • Is there such thing as Eastern European art?

    K.B. I try not to think of art in geographical terms as good art should be universal and find its way to the global audience. What might be the differentiating factor of the Eastern European art versus Western European or American art is that for many years, until the early 90., the former was probably much less known to the global audiences due to the Iron Curtain. And although it has been over 20 years since its fall down this also means that art became a part of the free economy pretty late. In addition, the middle class which can afford buying art has been emerging only in recent years so that the art market in the Eastern European countries still has the room for development, especially when we talk about contemporary art.

  • Who should collect Eastern European artists?

    K.B. All people to whom it appeals whether they are from Hong Kong, Poland, Romania or the U.S. But I also believe that nothing boosts the art scene and artists’ development as much as local collectors and institutions. Art is a part of our heritage so it would be good if collectors from Poland bought the works of the Polish artists. What might be interesting for western collectors is that there is a lot of good art from Eastern Europe which is still relatively cheap and there is a good chance to afford really good works that might gain value in time.

  • What is your advice for someone who buys art online?

    K.B. Use the online as well as any offline sources to get as much information as possible about the artist and his/her works so that you are sure what your buying. If an artist is represented by a gallery or any other institution, get in touch with it to reassure you don’t overpay for the offered work.

  • Which is the first artwork you bought?

    K.B. It must have been one of the paintings I bought during my numerous travels when I usually visit local galleries and try to get a piece of art. These days I mainly collect photography from…Eastern Europe.

  • Name your personal top 5 artworks.

    K.B. 5 is too little a number to name all the artworks I like or would like to have but I am sure that the first 50 would be photographs - both world famous classics as well as works of young emerging photographers.

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Founder of Le Guern Gallery which has been located in Warsaw since 2004. The gallery has shown exhibitions of many renowned Polish and foreign artists like Zofia Kulik, Jarosław Kozlowski or Pravdoliub Ivanov.
In April 2012 Katarzyna Borucka opened Lookout Gallery in Warsaw, which has become one of the highlights on the Warsaw art scene.

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