The Purchase of Art
Because of its very nature, (i.e. subjective) the purchase of art is almost always somewhat impulsive, but of course even with impulsive purchases, there are always a few important factors that will come into play in the back of ones mind.
Budget is probably the first and most important factor – and in many cases, for most of us, it is the least variable. So unless you are purchasing very much from the heart (and with a flexible wallet) then perhaps settle on a reasonable budget before you start your hunt.
The second factor is often the space onto which you plan to place your art. People will go on the hunt with a space in mind, but then fall in love with something that ends up hanging or sitting somewhere completely different than where was originally intended.
I wouldn’t worry too much about space because it can be restrictive. Keep your ‘spot’ in the back of your mind, definitely, but keep your mind well and truly open. If you see something you just can’t leave behind, don’t be too hard on yourself – you will find a place for it somewhere!
Although most experienced art buyers often favor one artist or one particular genre, you will find however, that overall they will keep an open mind and will probably have bought a bit of everything over the years, with eclectic collections which transcend style, artists and genres; sometimes for investment purposes, sometimes for posterity and quite often, just because they love it. Eclectic and varied collections can often be the most interesting to view.
As far as investment art is concerned, many people get caught up in knots about it. The fact is, original art is often (but not always) an appreciating asset to own and we firmly believe in art’s investment qualities. Sometimes not even because its particularly amazing or to everyones taste, but because it is of a heritage value or simply by an artist of note. It is worth noting that from time to time a print is also valuable; taking into account the age and provenance of the piece and the artist, the print run (preferably limited) and / or if the artist has individually signed it etc.
If you don’t have insider knowledge or lots of experience and you are uncertain about a piece, it is advisable to get advice before you buy. But it is also quite important that you buy a piece because you love it and believe it to be of a high caliber of work – remember, you will have to live with it.