In a previous column, I shared my thoughts on the mistaken idea that collecting art is only for the super-rich. It is true that there are wealthy individuals who attend high end auctions to spend millions for art. Yet that is only one scenario. There are many more individuals who buy art that they love and fill their home with original artistic creations. These works are unique and define each collector’s home. The truth is that there are many talented artists whose art is completely affordable. The best part is that original art is all about combining a collector’s unique vision with the unique expression of an artist.
Let’s dispel a few common myths about art collecting.
“Artists and galleries are stuffy and intimidating.”
Not categorically so. Most artists are eager to share their stories with you. Gallery staff are eager to become advisors to you about what you are seeing and how it may or may not fit into your vision.
“I don’t know enough about art to buy it.”
The solution to this is to ask the gallery rep to explain what you are looking at. You can ask for information about the artist. The artistic process, the mediums used, subjects and the story behind the art are all fair questions to ask.
“Will the art I buy increase in value?”
The answer to this is that it is anybody’s guess. Instead, think about another and more personal reason for making a purchase. Buy what you love! Buy what speaks to you and what you will be thrilled to have in your home. Buy what you will see every day and find joy in living with. Living with art is the goal here.
“I can’t afford art.”
Wrong again! Take a stroll into a gallery and take a look at the prices. How do the prices compare to a dinner out (a short term event) or the purchase of that dream car (a consumable item). If you care for your art, it will last forever. It can be passed on down the family line. It will always be very special.
“I don’t know what to buy.”
What will make you happy? Do you like landscapes or do you like the challenge of conceptual art? Does a certain artist’s style appeal to you? Would you like a photograph, a print or a collage? Would you like to buy something 2 dimensional or a 3 dimensional sculpture? Does a particular artist seem to understand your personal aesthetic? Look around and decide what you are drawn to. The purchase should be about you and the artist whose work you love.
Collecting art can do so many things to enrich your life. It can create a sanctuary for you when you return home. It can reveal who you are to your guests. It will be there for your family for generations to come.
Unique means not mass produced. Original means your taste, your style, your collection of visual arts. Collecting art means that you are taking charge of the uniqueness of your home and your life. You can do this by selecting and collecting art. The joy of collecting art awaits you. Get started right away!