Every magazine has its own special editorial focus. Some focus on traditional artworks while others focus on abstract artworks or regional artworks. So does it make sense for an Abstract artist to advertise in a magazine of traditional art?
From time to time I get questioned about whether or not a dealer selling a style of art other than what is the primary style of a magazine should advertise that art in a different environment.
Assume for a moment that you sell abstract modernism. Should you advertise in a publication which features primarily representational art? Your belief systems and feedback from your customers is a great starting point. Do you believe (or hear from customers) that buy other kinds of art like representational? If so it makes a great deal of sense.
Dealers are encountering more buyers who “mix it up” in their home. They tell us some collectors will hang abstract and representational paintings in the same home, which is happening more with the new breed of younger collectors. Frequently collectors who love different kinds of art will hang one type of art in their main home and another style of art in another home just as they often decorate them in different styles. I recently visited one significant collector who had three collections: A collection of very traditional Victorian art in his offices, a smaller collection of Western art in another office and a collection of post-war modern in his home (mixed with some traditional Victorian).
Though this collector reads several art magazines covering different styles of art you would stand out if you advertised a post-war abstract in the traditional magazines or if you advertised a traditional painting in an abstract publication. For instance ArtNews seems to be filled with mostly advertisers selling abstract and conceptual artworks. Once in a while I see Wildenstein advertise something very traditional. It stands out. The same would hold true for someone advertising an abstract piece in Fine Art Connoisseur.
What about antiques? Though we do not focus our editorial on antiques because our research indicates many collectors of representational paintings do not collect antiques, many people who have antique paintings have them in a home filled with antiques. Advertising brown antique furniture or quality decorative objects would stand out in Fine Art Connoisseur because we do not focus on offering advertising to antique dealers.
Think about the customer and what they consume. Though it is important to advertise in the environment most focused on the people who buy your kind of art you can stand out by supplementing your advertising in a category focused publication which will allow you to stand out. This is why we often have advertisers selling Jets, watches, jewels, real estate or high end automobiles. These companies understand that the person who loves quality art and can afford to make a substantial investment on it can also afford to buy their product.
You can gain advantage with any magazine which reaches your target buyer if you’re the only one or one of a very few in your category.