As an art gallery owner, the question I get asked the most, is how to choose art for your home. It’s a great question and whilst there isn’t a straightforward answer, let me demystify it for you.
First off, buying art depends upon your personal reasons. I don’t think I’m being facetious by saying that sometimes in the art world there can be a tendency to over intellectualise the choices involved. And whilst they should not be negated; it can leave some people feeling precluded especially if art as a subject matter is not their area of expertise.
There is a myriad of factors involved when deciding what to art buy. For example, if it’s an investment where art has been bought purely for resale purpose, ideally you want to realise a profit. Or if it is a transactional decision guided by market forces, success will be measured by the value of auction sales. Thus, the purchasing rationale from the outset is less likely to be a decision driven by emotion.
Alternatively, if it’s being bought as a family heirloom, a treat or for an anniversary then there will be numerous emotional factors at play. My husband and I have been buying art as our wedding anniversary gift to one another for over 20 years and not only has it been a great way to build up a collection it also evokes lovely memories.
The art pieces you buy and the decision you make may be affected by trends. For example, Old Masters, Modern and Contemporary Art by famous artists and selected artworks from these periods are a historical reference and encapsulate the Zeitgeist in an aesthetic way. Artwork in these contexts are statement pieces, regarded by society as the cream of the crop and if this is your preference you can't go wrong and are onto a winner so to speak.
But for me, there doesn’t have to be rhyme or reason involved. Budget is obviously important, and not to be overlooked, but if you can, I always recommend buying original pieces of artwork. If budget is limited, buy from emerging artists after all they are the stars of tomorrow!
The beauty of art is that we all react to the same piece of artwork in different ways because invariably the subject matter, genre, colour palette or medium will resonate on an emotional level that is sometimes hard to explain. If you are drawn to art for emotional reasons, there's no need to explain – there’s immense freedom in this process so embrace it!
Happy decision making!