When we think about having an art collection, there are a couple of things that pop up in our minds: elitist, expensive, pretentious or even unnecessary. It has always peeved me a bit, the way pop culture has turned art collecting into a frivolous and snobbish pursuit. I understand why collecting art can be considered a hobby of the wealthy and famous, especially when you look at the prices at which paintings are sold at a Christie’s auction. However, this perspective has to change.
I have always believed that collecting and having art in your house is the most intimate glimpse that a guest can have of your personality and taste. This is why collecting art should be something that everybody should indulge in, not only to beautify their homes but to also form a deeper emotional connection with themselves through art. We need to reconsider purchasing art as a personal and cultural investment, instead of a hefty financial one.
This is why I am writing this blog today to demystify the art of collecting art and how anyone can build a valuable art collection.
Finding your taste and connection
This is the most fundamental step that you can start with. If you are already on my website reading this blog, you might have an idea about what kind of art you connect with. I suggest taking a deeper dive and exploring what else your artistic taste buds are craving for. If you buy and collect art that you have no personal connection with, then you are simply buying a very overpriced canvas with paint smeared on it. A painting becomes art when it draws an emotional or mental response out of you, and this is the baseline of what you should be looking for when starting your collection.
Read, watch and learn
Now as an art buff, I might be biased to this but one of my favourite past times is to go down a Youtube wormhole of art history and appreciation videos. There are tons of them online. As a budding art collector, it is great to expand your understanding of the history of art and how to interpret it. If you are not that big on screen-time, there are numerous art books that you can buy and go through to learn more about the many art movements that have occurred in the past. By brushing up on your art knowledge, you develop a keen eye for art pieces that can be purchased separately and be grouped together to form a valuable collection. The value of these artworks go up, as you are able to assemble them in a collection in a way that expands one understanding of that art style in particular and its evolution. So, essentially, it is not how expensive the art is that you buy, but what you do with it that really matters.
Your collection needs to make sense
Once you get the ball rolling with your art collecting, make sure that the paintings you buy have a common element within them to tie the pieces together in the collection. If you randomly buy artworks that are from different eras or movements, it would hardly be a collection but a haphazard assortment of paintings. Therefore, when making art purchases you need to ask yourself: how will this new piece fit into your collection. Be mindful and have your collection make sense. This cohesiveness will drive up the value, monetary and artistic, of your collection.
Keep up and stay in touch
Yes, art made by established artists and the masters is expensive. There is no denying that. However, you do not have to have a significant masterpiece in your collection to make it valuable. All these masters and celebrated artists were struggling and up and coming artists at one point in the past. This is what you can do: find young artists who are creating art that you appreciate and connect with them directly to buy their art. I bet, they will not only feel encouraged and supported on their artistic journey but, you will also be able to purchase affordable art. With the advent of social media, it is so much easier to find such artists and connect with them directly. By doing this, you will be able to build a significant art collection comprising of affordable pieces while also supporting the next generation of masters.
These are some of the essential things that you can do when you start building your art collection. Now remember, it takes years to build up a valuable art collection and it is something that cannot be rushed. So practise being mindful with what you purchase and always be financially responsible. With that being said, I hope that everybody gets to enjoy that tremendous feeling of purchasing art that resonates with your spirit and soul. It is one of the greater privileges in life…