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Gisela Beckius  
2013-12-01 11:48:46 Art
Some thoughts on buying art
Some thoughts on buying art.

Art is a powerful form of expression not only for the artists who create it, but also for those who own it. Art allows people to express their individuality and to represent their beliefs, feelings, imaginations, convictions or philosophies in socially (and visually) acceptable and redeeming ways.
* Art encourages people to ask questions, introspect, think about ideas, experience fresh new perspectives and most importantly, it encourages them to take brief moments out of their busy lives to reflect on more than just the mundanities of their daily routines.
* Art improves quality of life. All you have to do is think about the difference between a room with bare walls and one with walls full of art.
Children are fascinated with art. Art prompts children to ask questions and encourages them to fantasize, imagine and expand their perceptions of reality. Art teaches children how to be creative and have fun with life and gives them permission to do so as well.

A few tips on buying Art

By this I mean a piece that is considered ‘real’ art, an original oil or watercolour, contemporary sculpture or perhaps art photography. Something that speaks to your good taste but most of all your heart.

First of all and most important, buy what you love
, in spite of any well-meaning advice from artists, gallery owners and collectors.

Art is the ultimate personal statement. In many ways, your choices in art are a window to your soul. If you buy the art you love, art that speaks to you, your collection will become a visual collage of who you are. Although buying art can lead to some investments, most people buy simply because they form a real connection with the work. You want to make sure that you are going home with something that you will continue to enjoy for years to come.

Go with your instincts… Don’t buy an artwork because someone’s telling you it’s fashionable or a good idea. Go for work that speaks to you and think about how it makes you feel. There’s no guarantee it’ll increase in value, so don’t anticipate this. If it does, see it as a bonus not a pre-requisite for buying. Try not to get swayed into a decision because of all the ‘noise’ that might be surrounding a popular artist. Does a particular painting move you; are you emotionally connected to a piece? That’s the art you should be buying.
Do Research…You can visit galleries, exhibitions and studios so you can to build up an understanding of your likes and dislikes. If you find a piece you like and consider buying, get to know about it. Ask questions about the artist (read the Artist’s bio), the process, the materials used, the artist’s intent (read the Artist’s statement), check their website. Does the piece appear to be creatively conceived and skillfully executed?

Talk to staff in galleries: even if you aren’t going to buy straightaway they’ll be happy to talk to you about the work. If they’re serious about art, they’ll talk passionately about it. Collecting art can be very sociable and talking to others will give you a good sense of what is being collected and at what price.
He who hesitates…
When you do find a piece that speaks to you on an emotional level, it’s a good idea to move quickly. If it touches a chord in you chance are it will do so for somebody else and it will sell fast and a true work of art will never be repeated. It happens quite often that I have done a painting I could have sold many time over.
Art can be expensive and if one feels short on cash, but reluctant to let a particular work of art slip through their fingers, sometimes galleries will allow you to pay in installments. Consider making an offer. At the end of the day it’s just another business transaction, and there’s nothing wrong with making an offer below the asking price, as long as long as it’s reasonable
To gallery, or not to gallery 
It’s sometimes possible to ask, “borrow” a painting to see if it appropriate in your space. This often works with individual artist—especially one you know—though I have known quite a few galleries that will do this. Which brings up the next question: which is better, buying from a gallery, or directly from the artist? If you buy directly from artists you get to know them, get a sense of their artistic philosophy, where they’re coming from, and the concept and significance behind individual works, Some galleries don’t have the time, or take the time, to get to know their artists.
On the other hand, gallery representation is important in that it speaks to the caliber of the art if it’s good enough to be represented by a respectable gallery. 
If you do shop galleries, don’t be intimidated by your lack of a fine arts degree. You’re ultimately the only expert on what you like, but you can also take advantage of the expertise at your disposal. Ask questions of the gallery owner or staff and know that there are no stupid questions when it comes to art. There is not much that is more subjective.
It’s good to know that galleries will typically take commissions of around 50% on sales. If you can recognize quality work on your own and have found an artist you like, you might get more value for your money buying direct from the artist. Just remember, trust your taste. There are no “right” or “wrong” choices.


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