As an art lover, I cannot fit one more artwork on any wall of my house. We have paintings and sculptures stacked on the floor of my studio and we are about to be forced to sell some of them and to give others away. We would also like to replace some of what is already hanging which we often do.
An artwork may carry out many different stories. Where you bought it or who gave it to you; where it was framed; what the subject is; what was the artist thinking? What were you thinking? An artwork can create so many topics of conversation, and people get to know you better once you give the story of one particular piece. Some art tells you about a specific culture or a political movement in any given country; some have happy subjects or amazing colors, some become part of our history.
You don’t have to be in the art business to have one or lots of them. Nobody should be intimidated by art wherever they see it. If you have empty walls, I strongly suggest you start little by little, one at a time, to buy art that attracts your eye and your soul, that makes you curious, that reminds you of something or some place. Art does not have to be expensive or from a known artist. My biggest advice is: buy original art. You can buy original art for $50 dollars or for thousands of dollars. If your budget is lower than $1,000 dollars you may start at an antique shop or even at an estate sale where you can find many varieties. Also, when you like a painting or a sculpture for example, it does not have to match any of the color schemes at your house – it will look great regardless.
Original art does two main things: it helps the artist make a living and it becomes an investment for you. Sometimes when you buy art at a furniture store or from say a decorator, you will likely buy art made in series meaning there are hundreds or thousands exactly the same. It is often worth 1 cent on the dollar and it does not carry as interesting of a story than an original bought at a place that is a bit more specialized in art or artifacts or directly from the artist. Nothing wrong with decorative art, it’s just a matter of choice.
Established galleries may carry some affordable known artists. You would be surprised at some of the names and what the prices are. For example, you may find a Diego Rivera original ink on paper for $6,000 to $10,000. You may also find other known painters such as Francisco Toledo, Jesus (Chucho) Reyes Ferreira or Francisco Zúñiga with drawings or etchings priced at $4,000 to $8,000 dollars. You may also find great oil paintings from artists getting established for $10,000 or less. You may discover an artist that you love and follow his/her career. If from a gallery, make sure to always get a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the artist or the organization that represents the artist or his/her estate.
Art is erroneously known to be for snobs. It is not. Owning art is like owning a good book or a nice table. It is part of who you are. The story of an artwork is most importantly for you to enjoy. When you arrive at your house or office and you see an artwork, it will always remind you of an experience you had before, during or after you acquired the artwork and it will enhance your life by creating a beautiful environment filled with your own story.
You may add this to your New Year resolutions: “Buy more original art”.
Make it a wonderful New Year!