A carefully chosen work of art can bring a room to life....
Art is a great way to bring an interesting touch to your living space whilst at the same time expressing a bit of your personality. A good piece can bring a room together and serve as a great talking point when guests come over. Navigating your way through the minefield that is the art market, however, can be a daunting task…
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT IS GOOD?
If you’re asking yourself this then you’re already going wrong. Art is very personal and completely subjective. Don’t be put off if you don’t have a fine art degree and can’t tell your Da Vinci from your Degas. It can be a great idea to look to experts such as experienced collectors and gallery owners for advice. Just remember that this piece is going to be in your home and it is you who have to admire it every day, so what matters is that you like it. Ideally find a piece that stops you in your tracks and that you are genuinely enthralled by. It’s not enough to think “um, that’s nice”. Also visualise how it will look in your home. Art interacts with the space around it. A large, dominating piece will be too much for a small room. Make sure that your chosen piece will look good in its new setting and, where possible, make it the central feature of that room.
HOW DO I KNOW THAT THE PRICE IS RIGHT?
Most people assume that art is expensive. You can certainly risk remortgaging your home on your quest for the best art to fill it. But the real answer is you can spend as much as you want. You should consider an artwork an investment that will enhance your home for years to come (unlike those Ikea curtains and throws, which will probably only last a few seasons). Do be wary though, as the art scene is a tumultuous one. Hot artists who’ve been dubbed the latest craze can have artificially inflated prices. Don’t assume that the quality of a piece of art is reflected in a price tag. Great works can be found at bargain prices. There is nothing wrong with buying a sculpture or painting from an artist selling their wares on the street. Just think, you could be buying the work of an undiscovered Picasso. It is better to buy a wonderful work by a lesser-known artist, for a lower price, than a lesser work by a famous artist (where you are essentially paying for the label).
WHERE DO I GO TO BUY?
The art world is a vast place to a newbie. A great way to ease yourself in is by joining a nonprofit art organisation. This will give you access to artists, curators, galleries and collectors for an annual. Don’t rule out browsing less official markets and bohemian art fairs. Not all great artists are able to display their work in the most prominent galleries. You can find real hidden gems here in the more underground art circles, if you are willing to look. When you think you have found a piece you like then do a bit of research on its creator. Getting to know the artist can really enhance your ownership of one of their works, as well as help you decide if it’s for you. Browse the internet for information, or even visit their workshop for a chat.
The final word on this is, don’t rush in. Remember that your piece of art will be with you for years. Art collecting is not just about the object itself, it is about the journey you take to discovering it.