So many people lack the courage to buy art for the love
of it. They'll spend tens of thousands of dollars on other
passions - cars and clothes and furniture - without regard
to their (negative) investment potential, and pass up a
piece of art because there's no guarantee that its market
value will escalate.
Look at the worst-case scenario: You buy a piece of art
that gives you a lifetime of pleasure. You pass it on to
your children as a memento of you. It becomes a little piece
of immortality. There are worse investments.
Secrets of the Trade
Buying serious art can be intimidating if you've never
done it before. We've added the following information in
order to answer some of your concerns.
Q. What is the most important question to ask yourself
about a piece of art before buying it?
A. The most important question to ask yourself is: "Do
I really love it?" If the answer is no, then
I recommend you keep looking, regardless of what other advice
you might get. Art is extremely subjective. You will relate
to it differently than anyone else on earth does because
no one else shares your unique intellect, emotions and personal
interests. That's part of the beauty and mystery of art.
Q. Does art have to be shocking to catch a buzz?
A. Shocking subject matter helps an artist get noticed
by art dealers. That does not mean, however, that the art
is necessarily good, or will be lasting. What's "hot"
today could be tomorrow's bad taste.
Q. Are you buying the art or the artist?
A. Yes. But while you are actually buying both, you need
to establish your priorities. Ask yourself: "Why am
I buying this piece?" If your motivation is financial
investment, be aware that only a few artists' works will
significantly increase in value. Yesterday's rage can be
today's discount and tomorrow's forgotten name. It's also
important to note that a minor piece by a recognized artist
is still a minor piece.
Q. Should you purchase art to match your furniture?
A. There is actually more to it than the resounding "no"
that you might expect. To pretend that all good art looks
equally good in any environment is asking too much of the
artist. A friend of mine fell in love with a large $3000
painting. When he had it hung, it was obvious the space
was all wrong for the piece. He purchased the painting anyway,
had it stored, and when he later moved to another home,
he hung the painting. He is as thrilled with the piece today
as he was the day he bought it.