How to buy art

I don’t know anything about art, where do I start?

When you think about buying art, do you think it’s expensive and only for the wealthy? Do you question your ability to appreciate or understand art? Do you feel intimidated by the art world and its culture? Do you feel you don’t have the knowledge or expertise to make informed decisions about which pieces to buy or how much you should pay?

Four ways to confidently fill your home with beautiful art.

1. Buy what you love

Trust your instinct, you have to live with the work you buy, so make sure you love it. Don’t buy a still life of a decapitated bird if it makes your stomach churn. Remember though to challenge yourself. Think why you love something, what it means to you and if something makes you a little uncomfortable then you’ll never tire of a piece.

2. Don’t let galleries intimidate you

Lots of people think they don’t belong in commercial galleries. They walk in amongst the white walls and don’t know what to do. The reality is, it’s just like shoe shopping. You’re the one buying, you’re in control.

Ask for a catalog or price list, ask to be left alone while you look at the works, then if you have questions, ask the gallery assistant. There’s no obligation to buy and the gallery will be delighted you’ve stopped by.

If they ask to put you on the mailing list, do it! The current exhibition might not have works you love, but the next exhibition may make your jiggles wiggle.

3. Find artists in your area

Lots of towns and cities open up their galleries after hours so you can take a look after work. There’s a big push for First Friday artwalks, or First Thursdays, or Third Wednesdays.

This is a time once a month when all galleries and artist studios open up one the same day of the month, after hours, so you can see all the galleries in your area, and all the art exhibition that are on, all in one night – and get free drinks and snacks at the same time.

It’s a very relaxed way to meet artists, see their work and hide amongst the crowds. In fact, if you’re in Seattle, the Good Arts Building is opening it’s doors on June 1 from 5.30pm. Come along!

4. Find amazing art online.

More than 25% of art is sold online, according to the UBS Global Art Market report. More art is sold online than through general retail.

I find art aggregator sites like Blue Thumb Art, Saatchi Art and even Etsy a little overwhelming. I prefer to follow galleries I love online through Instagram and newsletters to watch what artists are doing and see what exhibitions are on. It doesn’t matter where in the world a gallery is in the world, they’ll always ship to you.

Here’s some of my favourites:

Michael Reid

J Reinhart

Foster White

Purple Noon

Steve Turner

Chalk Horse

Watson Kennedy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s