4 Simple Questions to Guide Your Next Art Purchase

Buying art shouldn't be an overwhelming, confusing process, but sometimes it's hard to know where to start. Here are four key questions to ask yourself to help make the process, easy, approachable, and above all, fun.

Why do I want to purchase art?

Purchasing art can have many approaches, depending on what you’re looking for. It’s not always vital to pinpoint the exact space for your art before beginning your search. Get a sense of your goals— Do you want to start with one piece, or are you open to multiple purchases? Is there a specific wall that you want to fill, are you looking to start a collection, or both? Understanding what you’re trying to gain is the best way to guide your search.

What's out there?

Personal research is the most important part of the process. Take a walk through your city’s arts district, talk to gallerists, attend opening receptions and artist open studios, browse online resources like Artsy. This part can be fun. Don’t be intimidated: there’s no rush. The more patience you have with your search, the more you learn, and the more educated of a purchase you will be able to make. Take a friend to an opening, wander your local Open Studios with your spouse, ask gallerists questions on First Fridays. The main focus isn’t to seek out a purchase, it’s to enjoy the experience of looking at art.

What do I like?

As you continue your research, keep track of the things that appeal to you: artists, media, particular galleries. What colors have been your favorite? Have you been drawn to abstract work, or figurative? Maybe you initially went in looking for a painting, but later realize that you love photography. Maybe you intended to fill a wall with three smaller pieces, but have come to like the idea of one large piece. Now that you are beginning to understand the market, you can set a budget and determine what work suits your taste. Start considering options, envisioning the way it may fit into the different spaces in your home, office, or concept.

Which piece is “the one”?

This is the simplest part. When all of the pieces finally fall together—size, aesthetic, price, concept—you’ll know. Many artists, consultants, and galleries offer payment plans, as well as shipping and installation assistance to make your purchase a smooth, easy process. Don’t be afraid to take the plunge.

Thursday, September 15, 2016: Puloma Ghosh