Art collecting elsewhere

On a trip to Paris a few years ago, I was astonished to see many young couples buying original works of art in galleries. One gallery owner I spoke to told me that an art purchase was often one of a couple’s first purchases when getting their flat. She said jokingly that couples first buy a mattress and then bought a painting to hang above it.

Why do people collect art?

There was a time when owning original art made by a recognized artist was a sign of success.  To own an original art indicated the collector’s academic standing and education, especially when they collected art created by emerging artists and new art movements.

Is art collecting dead?

Fewer and fewer people are interested in owning an original work of art. Many seem to be content with a poster from Ikea or Walmart hanging prominently on their wall.  If there is a desire to collect art, many get convinced to purchase the valueless “fancy” inkjet posters peddled under the name “giclee.” These glorified posters are being promoted as actual works of art but have no resale value in the long run. Several of my acquaintances discovered that they were duped years ago when they tried to resell a giclee during the pandemic.

So where’s the money at?

My friends quickly discovered that there is only value in the original and none in a giclee reproduction.  Giclee’s are great for the artist in the short term, providing them with a quick source of revenue.  However, long-term, it can have a detrimental effect on their careers, especially if the people buying the giclee’s think that they are making an investment or purchasing a work of art.  Stick to buying the originals if you want to see any return on your investment.

A change of mindset

The way artists think may have changed too. Historically artists have either purchased or exchanged their artwork to obtain another artist’s work.  For example, Picasso collected Matisse, and Matisse collected Picasso.  Matisse hung prominently in Picasso’s studio, and Picasso’s hung in Matisses’ workspaces! This kind of mutual admiration seems to have fallen by the wayside.  Students don’t seem to buy their teacher’s works either.

It’s a question of taste

It’s OK; not everyone likes what I do.  There are a lot of amazing artists to encourage.  Now that the pandemic has diminished somewhat get out, go to galleries and museums.  Contact artists you know and visit their studios to see what they’ve been creating over the past 18 months. Buy something to help them through a rough spot.

Putting my money where my mouth is

I try and purchase at least one work from an artist that I admire as often as possible.  Collecting art by others often happens when I make an extra sale or two of my pieces.  Call it sharing the wealth. I usually purchase students’ works and works of art created by emerging artists. When one of my teachers passed a few years ago, I supported his family by buying three pieces from his estate.  Let’s face it; I love to be surrounded by beautiful things, and what better purchase than art!

Should you buy art?

If you have any doubts, here’s a story in the New Yorker about Herb and Dorothy Vogel that may inspire you to collect art:

Herb & Dorothy click here

Quote of the day:

“The appeal of the esthetic is an important motive for most art collectors. Colour, texture and line evoke a response, and one wishes to own the picture and look at it often.”

~ Alicia Craig Faxon ~

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