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Choosing the Right Art for Your Home: An Interview with Debra Klomp Ching of Klompching Gallery

By Debra Klomp Ching

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

The Klompching Gallery was established in 2007. It's a fine art gallery owned by myself and Darren Ching. We specialize in contemporary photography, and work with an international roster of artists, including Helen Sear (representing Wales at the 2015 Venice Biennale), critically-acclaimed British photographer Simon Roberts, master photographer/printer John Blakemore and Spanish photographer Max de Esteban, amongst others. Our clients include experienced collectors, people buying artworks for their home and art advisers/consultants seeking artworks for their own clients. We also place artworks into museum and corporate collections. The gallery stages approximately 6-7 exhibitions each year, at our gallery in the DUMBO neighbourhood of Brooklyn, where we've been based since we opened 7+ years ago. Additionally, we exhibit at the prestigious AIPAD Photo Show at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, each Spring.

Why do people buy artwork for their homes? Please discuss the common reasons.

The most common reason people buy artwork for their home is because they fall in love with the artwork. That passion for the fine art photograph, ninety percent of the time, is what drives an acquisition. Of course, people also want to fill a blank wall, and what better way to do that than with original artwork.

What are the most popular types of artwork most appropriate for the home?

There isn't any one answer. That said, in NYC we find that a good number of our clients will select artworks relating to how much or how little wall space they have. One of our biggest sellers in 2014 was the Herero series by Jim Naughten. We also have found that people will want artwork to have some level of synergy with their decor and other artefacts they already own and display.

Do you have any tips for homeowners on how they can choose the right artwork for their home?

The key is to only acquire artwork that you feel a good level of passion for. Ideally, it's an object that you will live with for a long time and you want to continue to gain pleasure from it on a daily basis. In this context, the right artwork will be one that 'lives'. What I mean by that, is that you discover something new in the work over time, and that your relationship with it - or appreciation of it - alters and grows. When our clients purchase artworks from us, we provide a good amount of advice regarding this - it's an essential part of the buying process.

What the basic steps involved when someone wants some art masterpieces rented/bought for use in decorating their home?

We advise on the selection of artwork based upon the size being considered, the budget and if any aesthetic restrictions need to be taken account of. After that, it really does vary. With some clients we can spend a good amount of time looking at a range of work, before settling on a piece. Consultations with clients are best in-person at our gallery or the buyer's home, and can vary in time depending upon individual circumstances. Once an artwork is settled upon, we will then oversee the framing and can also arrange installation. It is important to see the artwork in person, if buying art is a new venture. We do recommend that new collectors visit galleries and develop their own sense of taste and judgement of quality. Until then, we are well placed to fulfill this role. The art buying process is wonderfully rewarding and can be a lot of fun too. We have many clients who bought their first original artwork from us, and keep returning to build their collection.

What advice would you give to people who really want some artwork in their home decor but do not have the budget they think they need?

We work with a surprising number of people in these circumstances. Quite often we will provide a payment plan to enable people to purchase an artwork they've fallen in love with, but perhaps they don't have the funds for. This enables them to have an editioned photograph put aside, until it's paid for in full. This is especially helpful if prices on artworks are rising, and become even more unattainable. Also, many people are surprised to learn that not all art is beyond the means of ordinary folk. In our gallery, for example, artworks range from less than $1,000 for special editions, up to $68,000 for artwork by our more established artists. Our clients' budgets vary as much as our price points.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

The best way is to email or 'phone. We're also open to the public, Wed-Sat 11am-6pm. We're very easy to reach, with five subway lines close by. In the Spring, the gallery will be relocating to a new street-level space on the corner of Water and Main Street, right here in DUMBO, so we'll be even easier to find. Our website, currently being redesigned and rebuilt, is also an excellent resource for viewing a selection of the artists we represent.

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