Since the dawn of time, humans have always had some form of art in their interior spaces. From drawings inside their cave dwellings to Graffiti artist David Choe famous in the art world for painting the first offices of Facebook, which made him a multimillionaire.
The enduring relationship between real estate and art has taken a unique turn in recent years. In an innovative move, real estate firms are now frequently collaborating with art galleries to infuse fine art into their staging processes for properties. This liaison is beneficial for both parties for various reasons. Introducing art into a property craft a distinctive atmosphere, a key factor that greatly influences the successful sale of a property.
In the sphere of high-end real estate, prospective buyers are accustomed to items of significant worth, including the fine art pieces that are put on display. Such emblems of wealth are readily identifiable and help to cultivate an enticing space. The display of these pieces of art serves both the real estate agencies and the galleries well. The art pieces on exhibit are available for purchase, offering an opportunity for galleries to establish connections with a wealthy customer base. Even if an art piece doesn’t find a buyer during the exhibit, many galleries confirm that they often gain new clientele through this approach.
In a 2018 Forbes article, Cheryl Eisen, founder of Interior Marketing Group told Forbes, “When I first started staging, nobody in the high end was staging at all for some reason,” stated Eisen, who had staged many luxury and celebrity homes. “As we started doing it, I always started by putting art in the spaces. Now the highest end of real estate in New York City, which is the highest in the world, more or less, is being staged more and more. This is more of a growing thing.”
When Eisen first sees a client’s space, she uses Photoshop to create a vision for how art can be used to enhance the home’s features. She considers the double-height ceilings, tall windows, and other unique elements of the space when selecting artwork. Once she has a plan, her in-house art team, Art Loft, creates custom pieces to bring her vision to life.
In 2021, during the global Covid-19 pandemic, Silicon Valley real estate broker Anna D. Smith founded Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Broker, where she trademark the motto “Fine Art needs a Home and a Home needs Fine Art.”® The brokerage is a leading art advisory that specializes in contemporary Underground art. It also provides real estate services related to buying and selling commercial or residential properties in Silicon Valley.
Known as the “Queen of the Underground Art World,” founder Anna D. Smith built Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Broker into an art and real estate brokerage firm known for its expertise, professionalism, and commitment to client satisfaction.
During the pandemic when art patrons were banned from attending galleries and museums due to Covid-19 health restrictions, Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Broker brought art to the public in a series of outdoor artist billboard exhibitions. The first exhibition “Look Up!” featured the 2017 artwork Incarceration Nation by California prison artist Donald “C-Note” Hooker. C-Note is the world’s most prolific prison artist, and Incarceration Nation is America’s premier work of art on mass incarceration.
When Smith got into the art brokerage business, she decided to get involved and take on the type of clients the established art world would reject. These visual art genres, generally from the self-taught, are collectively called Underground art and include but are not limited to, Graffiti, Prison art, Street art, Comic Strips, Graphic Novels, and Digital art, which include NFTs.
Her eye for and promotion of these artists quickly earned her the reputation of “Queen of the Underground art world.” When the rest of the world was sleep to the family and foundation of Street artist Keith Haring (1958 – 1990) was teaming up with the revival of the iconic American instant camera and film company Polaroid to create a special edition in honor of Haring, Smith brought the camera and film and caught one of its most memorable photos.
Standing on a truck, Smith used the Polaroid x Haring to take this now iconic photo during the “Look Up!” exhibition her fine art and real estate brokerage firm funded and curated. ICONS: Polaroid-Haring-C-Note is featured in the March 10, 2023, article, “History of Polaroid – The Cultural Legacy of This Iconic Brand,” published by the publication ART IN CONTEXT. The photo can also be seen in the Wikipedia article “Billboard.”
Representing her firm, Smith makes sure she keeps herself tuned to both the formal and informal art scene in Silicon Valley. Through the Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Blog, her popular blog, she writes about art, real estate, and crypto currencies. Her even bigger platform, the Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Daily, is the #1 online news source for Luxury real estate and Underground art.
As the founder of Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Broker, Smith knows a thing or two about staging art to sell homes. With over 40 years of experience within all aspects of the real estate industry, including her own mortgage loan origination service, Smith was a project manager for Stanford Management Company at Stanford University, where she managed property endowments, land lease reviews, and oversaw $10 million in monthly construction disbursements.
A member of the National Association of Realtors ®, California Association of Realtors, and Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, who has held a real estate broker license (CDRE# 01237734) for over 20 years, the highest realtor license in the State of California, Smith uses her real estate experience and a keen eye for detail to place the right art on the right wall.
In the lead image at the top of this article, she uses her client’s artwork the Light of Amber to bring a powerful ruby passion, as a part of a sublime room decor palette.
As both a residential and commercial real estate broker, it never leaves her consciousness that art is foundational to a healthy work environment.
Staging art does not have to be the sole purview of the home seller, but has been a new take on selling commercial property by developers and architects. As noted in the March 7, 2018 article, “Art and real estate: The new relationship that’s selling big,” written by Michelle Colman for the publication 6sqft. Colman notes, “More and more architects, developers, designers, and brokers believe in the powerful relationship between art and real estate. So much so, it is now understood that art sells real estate and real estate sells art.”
Whether it’s in-house like Silicon Valley’s Anna D. Smith Fine Art and Real Estate Broker, or New York City’s Interior Marketing Group, finding an experienced practitioner willing to use art as a part of the interior design pre-sale property process can impact how quickly property inventory can get sold.