In this conversation about art, let's first recognize the concept of "art" is different for each individual. What is one person's trash might be another person's art. Of course there are some societal norms on what makes art art. For instance, most of us will agree that Van Gogh's Starry Night or Monet's Water Lilies are supreme examples of art. But, what about Kazimir Malevich's White on White (basically a white square painted on a canvas painted a slightly different shade of white)? See the piece here. Let's just come to an understanding that each person's art may be different than the next person's. With that out of the way, we can now begin the real purpose of this blog post. Very few of us, right out of the block, will be purchasing limited edition prints or original pieces are artwork for our homes. So, how do we learn about art and move up the art ladder? Here are some tips on how to grow up with your art.
Cut your teeth on high end posters. I'm sure all of us had posters (movie, teenage idols, cartoons, etc.) on our walls growing up. This is our very first foray into owning and arranging art. We would collect pieces and tack them up on our walls with great care. As adults, however, we move into specialty posters. While still a fraction of the cost of prints or original pieces, they give us the ability to bring our personality into a space without breaking the bank. The key to getting this type of art just right is in the framing and arrangement. Use a collection of similarly themed pieces for real impact.
Take off the training wheels with giclées and limited edition prints. Now we're starting to get serious about investing in pieces that will stick around for a while. Spending a couple hundred bucks or more on a piece of art takes real dedication to liking it. It's no longer a throw-away item. Quick definition - a giclée is a reproduction of an original piece typically printed on canvas using archival quality inks. Some producers then embellish the canvas with brush strokes for a more authentic feel. Whether a giclée or limited edition print, you've officially moved into the art world. Depending on the artist, limited edition prints can increase in value over the years. It all depends on the size of the print runs and artist reputation.
Graduate into purchasing original pieces, but start slow at first. Buying your first piece of original art shows real commitment. Your first piece most likely won't be a $20,000 by some famous artist. Maybe it will be something you buy from a street artist in Paris or at a local art fair. Whatever it is, it will be special and something you'll keep for years. I had the opportunity to travel to Moscow some years ago and brought back to pieces, both paintings of St. Basil's Cathedral. They are hung in my home office and remind me of an amazing travel experience. The beauty of these two pieces is that I was able to meet the artists. It's an experience I'll never forget.
When you finally graduate to large scale original pieces, these will end up taking center stage in your home for all to enjoy. And, isn't that what collecting art is all about - surrounding yourself with special pieces that mean something special?
Collecting art, more than anything, should be a fun adventure. I counsel clients to leave open specific places in their homes for the perfect piece. When you find, you'll know it. Happy collecting!