The Art of Buying Art

Today we have art collection and display expert —  and an artist herself — Megan Peter sharing with us The Art of Buying Art. Megan has a Master’s Degree in Fine Art at New York University so you could say she knows her stuff. She aptly says, “Great art should move you, emotionally, and elicit a reaction through it’s color, composition or the concept.” and I couldn’t agree more. Those are the pieces I want in my own home. — Meg

To Sail the Seas by Valerie Chiang, UGallery

Get A Sense of Your Taste

One of the most important things to consider when buying a work of art is learning what you like, aesthetically. The art world is enormous, but you can get a sense of what is out there by visiting contemporary art museums, galleries and other art events in your area. Viewing art in a gallery setting is a great way to interact with the work, talk to the gallery director and get more information about the art and artists represented. People who work in the art field are typically very willing and eager to share information about an artist, their career, and often give some perspective on the process or idea behind a work of art. Talking to people, signing up for museum and gallery mailing lists and attending openings is a great way to get involved and learn more about the art around y0u. When it comes to buying art — if you have a sense of what appeals to you, and find something you love — you really can’t go wrong. Great art should move you, emotionally, and elicit a reaction through it’s color, composition or the concept. I love it when I come across a painting or photograph that stops me in my tracks. When I find a work of art that I can’t stop thinking about — that’s when I know I’ve found a keeper.

Where to Find Art

Experiencing art in a storefront, where it’s up close and personal, is amazing, but the internet has dramatically changed the way that art is viewed and sold. Here are a few of my favorite sources for finding art online.

Abney by Georgina Vinsun, Saatchi Online

SAATCHI ONLINE offers a huge database of art from all over the world. Saatchi Online leverages the blue chip name recognition of the renown Saatchi Gallery in London and presents the contemporary art market via online sales with the idea: “Discover art. Get Discovered.” The amount of work featured on the site requires a bit of motivation to search through thousands of images in order to find art that resonates with you, but there is a ton of quality work if you are committed to finding it. You are able to search with different filters such as color, price, medium, and type of art and guest curators from prestigious galleries, as well as celebrities regularly assemble collections of works by theme.

UGALLERY is another online gallery that presents work of emerging and mid-career artists. UGallery allows a potential collector to search art by collection, medium, price, color, etc., however, a friendly pop-up feature emerges as you are navigating the site asking if you, “Have a question?” where you are able to talk with the gallery manager and ask for recommendations on specific works through an online chat. You are able to trial the art in your home for a week, and can return the work at no additional cost above shipping it back to the artist — which is wonderful if you like to view the art in your space, relatively risk free.

CURATE 1K is an excellent site of which presents a curated collection of works for $1,000. A new collection is created each week and its a great way to find art at affordable prices. The works are typically a collection of originals and prints and are available for purchase from outside links.

ARTSICLE presents work from emerging artists in NYC and offers a unique component through it’s art rental feature. When you visit Artsicle’s website, you prompted to discover your “art style” or taste in art by partaking in a visual quiz.  The quiz is a fun, engaging way of gleaning information about a collector based on their feedback to images regarding decor, means of relaxation and leisure, places to shop, etc.  Through your selections, the website generates certain art matches to reflect your taste. You are able to rent works of art from the site and if you find that you love the work and don’t want to part with it, you are able to purchase the art outright.

BUY SOME DAMN ART Kate Singleton, of the blog Art Hound, presents weekly online exhibitions of hand-selected artworks for sale on her site Buy Some Damn Art. Each of the shows features original work by a single artist, in the $200 – $500 price range. Buy Some Damn Art features fresh, unique works by a variety of talented artists.

Eight Peeps by Oriana Kacicek

Small Works by Daily Painters

Duane Keiser is a talented painter from Virginia. In 2004, Keiser started creating small works of art each day and offering them for sale online. He is actually credited with starting the “Painting a Day” movement, a concept that has caught on with thousands of individual artists who create a daily paintings and sell them over the internet. Keiser’s works are available through eBay auction starting at $100, and can go for significantly more once the bidding ends.

Oriana Kacicek is another daily painter who specializes in small works as well. Oriana’s work is very precise and is very realistic in its rendering. I love these works as a different component in a gallery wall collection. The artist also accepts commissions, which is a wonderful option if you are looking for something with personal sentiment.

There are so many more places to find great art beyond the few online resources listed above, and these are just a few favorites.  Embarking on any new venture, you may feel that you would benefit from the assistance of someone familiar with the field. If the experience of finding beautiful art or assembling a collection of works is something you would like advice with, working with an art consultant is an excellent option to help you navigate the world of art. An art consultant can be a great sounding board and will hand pick selections based on your taste, needs and space. Ultimately, once you find art that you love, living with it will be an investment you will never regret.