If you are a collector, at any level, beginners to accomplished, you are not just an art buyer, you actually have an extremely important role in the future history of art.
Let me tell you why….
A large proportion of our love of art stems from history – from getting glimpses into the past through the artwork of those who went before us; when a picture said a thousand words, when our fascination with design, patterns and shapes was often reflected in the architecture and art of that period, when pivotal moments in history and religion were recorded by the masters of their time. We remembered our heroes with statues and our ancestors with portraits and art helped to show us what every aspect of life was like all those years ago, from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the very sad to the overtly happy; giving us a sneak peek, in sometimes an almost voyeuristic manner, of times gone past.
Those very pieces of art made it through decades and in some cases centuries; passing through the hands of various caretakers, generation after generation, whose careful handling meant that we get to enjoy them today.
As individual domestic buyers, collectors and dealers, we all play an important role here. Okay, investment is a definite factor, of course, because of value-added, but it is important to remember that art buyers are first and foremost, art lovers. The knowledge that a piece is unique; that someone of immense talent has put their time, their blood, sweat and tears and most importantly, their genius, into this piece of work and that now it is yours – and only yours – until you decide what to do with it – is quite exhilarating.
In terms of contemporary art, these artists are up and coming and evolving in front of your very eyes – you are living through their various phases, their highs and lows – their relationships, their nostalgic moments, their dark periods. You are now relying on your gut instinct and love of art to propel you through the buying process and that is most exciting. A burgeoning sense of pride appears, as we all like to display our art collections – from the humble pieces to the expensive – from the muted to the abstract – and we will happily talk at length about them all when asked. The prospect of being the current caretaker of these pieces of work that will hopefully continue to grace walls or sideboards long after us, is weirdly exciting and enticing – it is also potentially hugely important to the future ‘history of art’.
Whether it is your instinct for investment or your willingness to work on a collection, that drives you, or both, your part to play in the history of art should also not go unnoticed – if you buy contemporary art, at any level, you are not just a cultured speculator, you are also an important caretaker for future generations, and quite admirably, a patron of the arts too.
Liz and Ailish xxx