Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

But make sure it is your eye

It never ceases to amaze me how some people will buy art because of what others around them think. One day a lady came in the gallery looking at some Michael Godard art and told me, “I am here to see what all the buzz is about.” She then proceeded to tell me she wanted to get one of Michael’s pieces we had there at the gallery. I detected she didn’t really like the art, because she kept saying, “I don’t get it.”, so, I asked her straight out if she liked the art. She told me she did not. When I asked her why she was asking about buying it then, she told me because her friends like it.

Nursing a Martini 2 by Pop Artist Michael Godard

Nursing a Martini 2 by Pop Artist Michael Godard

It occurred to me she was buying the art because of what she thought her friends would think if she bought it. Now I can imagine a lot of good reasons why someone buys a piece of art, but for most people, it should always start with the heart; and the heart can work from many perspectives.

One client we have is an avid art collector. Quite savvy as well. He knows what he is buying and very often buys from us sight unseen. These are big purchases, often in the $50,000 dollar range. We crate them up and send them to him half way across the country and he doesn’t even open the crates. Yes, I’ll say it again; he buys stunningly beautiful paintings such as those by Hu Jun Di, an absolutely amazing contemporary Chinese Oil painter and doesn’t even open the crates. Why? Because he is a collector. He is interested in the future value of the paintings he buys. He is an investor. Many of our clients have bought Michael Godard as an investment as well, and they have had stunning rises in value from the early years. The point is, for a collector, the heart is in a little different place than the majority of people.

Nature, original oil on Linen, by Chinese Artist Hu Jundi (Hu Jun-di) 胡峻涤

Nature, original oil on Linen, by Chinese Artist Hu Jundi (Hu Jun-di) 胡峻涤

When people come to the gallery to buy art, it is often our first concern to identify where their heart is, so we can assist them to achieve their goal in buying art. Buying art can be one of the most rewarding things you can do, and combined with some savvy art buying, you can get great potential for future value too. Should that be a first priority? In my opinion, no. You should always buy something that touches you in a special way.

One of the artists we have in the gallery that is a top seller is the stunning black and white photography of Phil Borges. Phil is widely collected. Each piece has a special story associated with it. Phil meets all of his subjects personally and learns about them before doing the photo work. Personally I believe this is his way of connecting with his subject on a deeper level, and is at the core of what make his works so luring to so many people.

Kinesi by Photographer Phil Borges.                            Kinesi often helps his older brother take care of the family goats. He is the only one of seven children who was selected by his parents to attend school. Since his Samburu family is semi-nomadic, sometimes he must walk alone nearly four hours -- over terrain populated by baboons and leopards -- to get to the only school in his district. His mother says that Kenesi runs most of the way -- not from fear of predators, but from the excitement of school. Samburu Tribe

Kinesi by Photographer Phil Borges. Kinesi often helps his older brother take care of the family goats. He is the only one of seven children who was selected by his parents to attend school. Since his Samburu family is semi-nomadic, sometimes he must walk alone nearly four hours -- over terrain populated by baboons and leopards -- to get to the only school in his district. His mother says that Kenesi runs most of the way -- not from fear of predators, but from the excitement of school. Samburu Tribe

Phil Borges’ works have a built in future value, because as they sell out, they automatically increase in value. Phil’s photography has sold in our gallery for as much as $17,000. But his pieces originally start in the $1,200 to $1,500 price level. Very affordable. I love his work so much, I got carried away and bought more of it for my home than I can fit on the walls. Go over to the website and take a closer look. For that matter, go over and take a look at it all ;-)

Many galleries carry one certain kind of art, but our philosophy is to carry art and artists that are doing amazing and stunningly beautiful things. Because of this we carry fine art black and white photography, sculpture, fine art glass (both cold cut, blown and sculptural glass), oil painting, mosaics made of glass on copper, abstract and contemporary art as well as contemporary Chinese oil painting (as already mentioned), and contemporary metal work and furniture, in addition to many other types of art.

There are many reasons to buy art, but, as I covered in the beginning of this article, unless you are buying purely for investment value, make absolutely sure you are buying from your heart. When you do this, you will certainly connect with the art for many years to come. If you buy for the wrong reasons, you will not get your best value because for full enjoyment will diminish in short order.

Good art is timeless and calls us to a place within ourselves that defines who we are and the world we live in. To make the most of it, make sure you buy smart.

One Comment

  1. Posted November 26, 2008 at 4:20 am | Permalink

    Insightful study of who buys and why.
    But oh that Phil Borges’ photo and accompanying story really touched me.
    Your page came up in my Google alerts.

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