Art collecting is as varied as the art which is collected. Whether you are a beginning art collector, or an experienced art collector, one thing remains the same COLLECT WHAT YOU LIKE.
You don’t need a lot of knowledge about art to collect art. You don’t need a Masters Degree in Fine Art to know what you like. If you see a piece of art that you keep coming back to or a piece of art that stirs some kind of emotion inside of you, that’s all you need. (Of course you will need a means to purchase when you begin your collection or are augmenting your existing art collection).
Although art collecting is as varied as the art collected, the reasons for collecting art vary just as much. If you are buying art to fill a blank wall, then you are not collecting, you are just decorating. If you buy art for this purpose, you will no doubt fall into a trap. The trap being that after probably several months of looking at that piece of art hanging on the wall which used to be a blank wall, you’ll get tired of it and probably decide the blank wall wasn’t so bad after all.
If you buy art because you love it, because it moves you, because it reminds you of something or someone…whatever the emotion is that is stirred inside of you, you will find yourself loving it more and more as time passes. When you collect a piece of art and hang it on the wall, you will never think to yourself that the wall is better off bare.
The best advice that I can provide the beginning art collector is this: go to your local library and pick up some art magazines and begin looking through them (you don’t need to go out and buy new art magazines…save your money for that first piece of art). You’ll start developing an eye for what you like and what you don’t like. Then start going to art shows, sign up for gallery receptions and attend one or two a month. You’ll begin to know which gallery’s carry what you are more drawn to and which gallery’s really don’t cater to your taste. These techniques are teaching you to develop your eye for art. You’ll begin to notice what you are drawn into and what you really just don’t care for.
For the experienced art collector, I think it is important to subscribe to art magazines, keeping abreast on the latest trends in the art market. Also signing up for gallery receptions. Gallery receptions are a great way to blend into the background. Typically there are a lot of people walking around so you can see what the different gallery’s are offering in terms of the artists they carry. You can decide to purchase something at the reception, otherwise go back the next day and ask your specific questions of that particular artist and the piece of art that caught your eye. This also doesn’t waste your time with a consultant following you around the gallery talking to you about every single artist you happen to be glancing at; and, the consultant’s time is not wasted on you when they can instead be assisting somebody who really does have a question on a specific piece of art.
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