Art for the Modern World
Subject Matter was created to make your art-buying experience easy and enjoyable.
Art and the making of art evolves all the time - but the means of selling art hasn't changed for decades. The current gallery model can be exclusive and intimidating. Becoming an art buyer or collector can feel like applying for a club you don't actually want to join.
We believe in change.
We know artists need more art-buyers to sustain their practices and their careers. We know many talented artists fall by the wayside because they simply cannot afford to be artists.
We work to address inequalities in the art world by campaigning for fair pay for artists, curating all-women shows, mentoring female artists and working with Royal College of Art students in the professional side of their practices.
In 2018, we donated £750 to the RCA Fine Art Bursary Fund. For a small business like ours that is a huge amount of money! We do it because we believe in supporting artists. That's what gets us out of bed in the morning. The Fund finances artists who otherwise couldn't afford to study art, so it is crucial that those who can support it, do.
In everything we do, our mission is to:
Inspire New Art Buyers
Curate For Change
Curating for change means selling, promoting and celebrating more women artists, non-white artists and self-taught artists.
Through our This Girl Makes Art mentoring programme we work with female artists whose work inspires us, and who are just at the start of their career. We also run a competition for 16-18 year old girls across all Johannesburg schools, exhibiting the five winners and encouraging young women that art can be a viable career.
Through our ongoing programme with the Royal College of Art in London, we give art students an insight into the business side of the art world, what they need to know in order to grow their practices and find success - even when that does not come easily.
We believe in complete price transparency.
The price you see on the website is the price you pay.
We don't believe you should have to ask the price of anything, and we don't believe in hitting you with a shipping charge at checkout. We hate surprises, so why would we do that to you?
We offer free shipping worldwide on all photography.
And we discuss finances with our artists at the start of our working relationship, so they are clear about what they receive from each and every sale.
And we share that with you...
We learn from our collectors, clients and friends.
Over the years we have discovered you want:
You want to buy art but you also have to pay your rent this month. You can always speak to us about spreading your payments over a period of up to one year. We'll customise it according to your wishes and needs, and you can buy art for the same amount you spend on that coffee habit each month...
The overwhelming majority of our clients are from large cities like London, New York, Shanghai and Tokyo. Cities that are expensive to live in, therefore homes are small. We spotted this and have responded to it by focusing on selling smaller artworks.
Our clients are people who love art but don't want to spend their entire disposable income on it. You're a pretty cool crew who also want to travel, eat out and treat yourself to a new pair of shoes every now and then. A lot of you also have kids, and we know how that goes...
The vast majority of the art you see on our website is under £1500, most of it under £1000.
We also offer a well-priced framing option, we know framing gets expensive!
Accessibility and an Enjoyable Experience
Always. Sit on your sofa, open your laptop, and browse our carefully and lovingly curated selection. We've done the hard work for you!
And check us out on Instagram @subjectmatterart
We'll ship the artwork to you within 2-3 weeks of your order. We even include gloves for you to use when you install the work!
Finally, we're always here. Email us, DM us, we love to hear from you. Thank you for reading and we hope you love our artists as much as we do!