Monday, December 12, 2011
Exciting new dealer joins our ranks!
I interviewed Kevin Duffy this weekend. You have got to see the inventory on his website www.candlerarts.com The site itself is very cool, very hip and very technically polished. Kevin “focuses on self-taught art and unusual objects with a peculiar charm.” He has a great eye. What makes him even more interesting is that he’s never done an antiques show. This February’s Tailgate-Music Valley show will be his first and we couldn’t be more please that he’s joining us. Obviously, after studying his website I had lots of questions. Many thanks to Kevin for indulging my curiosity.
Me: For how long have you been dealing in folk art? Were you a collector before you began selling?
Kevin: I got serious about selling folk art in 2009 after accepting a buyout offer from my former employer. During my eight months off between jobs I worked with a website builder to create Candler Arts and put 125 items up for sale. I began as a collector about 20 years ago, focusing initially on contemporary outsider art. Later, my interest veered more toward offbeat antiques.
Me: Did you sell on Ebay before you developed your website? For how long have you been selling from your website? You have an amazing "eye". Have you studied art?
Kevin: Before starting the website I was a half-hearted seller on eBay. I would post items whenever I felt like it. As time went on I seldom felt like it. Since 2004 I think I've sold five items on eBay. I wanted to sell better things and eBay didn't work for me in that regard. I have not studied art. My mother went to art school; now in her mid-80s, she still paints. So my interest in visual arts came from her. But, like the artists I'm drawn to, I'm self-taught when it comes to buying art and antiques. I put a lot of faith in gut feeling.
Me: If you could just tell me a little bit about yourself, that would be great. Or, just let me know some things you'd like me to put out there about you and your business.
Kevin: I was a newspaper reporter and editor for many years, so I also have an interest in the news and in writing. My wife, Moni Basu, is a reporter for CNN online. We both like to travel a lot, but when it comes to buying art and antiques, I limit myself to America for the most part. You can't buy everything -- at least I can't. I grew up in northern New York State, the son of a banker. Every time he was promoted, we packed up and moved around New York State. We lived in Watertown, New Hartford, Fayetteville and East Aurora. When I left home I lived in Vermont, then Florida before finally moving to Atlanta. Atlanta is a fine place to live but I do enjoy heading north when hunting for quirky stuff.