How To Buy and Collect Fine Art

Fueled by record-breaking prices, high-end modern and contemporary fine works of art create POP excitement!

Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci

An overt interest in buyers and collectors that trickles down through the mass markets to affect lesser-known works - making them more valuable.


Art collecting is one of the most popular past time for those interested and has been for centuries. If you look at one of the most famous paintings in the world that people travel the world to see, the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, you will know the value of fine art.


The extremes of today's art market suggest that we stand at the beginning of a new transformation in thought, attitude, and culture, a vital shift that echoes the revolutionary vision that emerged during the Italian Renaissance. The Renaissance was a stark awakening to a new world full of possibilities, literally meaning 'rebirth,' it was an era of unique philosophies and culture, sowing the seeds for art history as we know it.


In a world where art galleries across the globe boast some of the most exquisite pieces of talent and skill, it is shocking how little people know about fine art and how to buy it. As an artist, I do not just look at the material aspect of 'selling' my art: having a piece of art that I create be judged and liked for its own merits, for its dynamic colors, precise brush strokes, and inspired subjects, is a reward in itself. One of the aims of creating this blog today is to educate the masses and the novice art collectors that are just venturing into the art galleries, on the process of buying and collecting fine art, which is intimately linked to the process of creating the artwork.


Why Do People Buy and Collect Art?

Viewers Take In A Modern Galleries Exhibition

It is a thought-provoking question with an easy answer. One of the driving factors behind collecting art is that it is unique. Unlike mass-produced photographs and books, a painting is often one of a kind, something that the artist works hard to create and cannot be replicated. This gives collectors the luxury of owning something exclusive, which is what a collection entails.


Some believe that to collect good art, you must be an artist yourself. Personally, I think an appreciation of the art, of the hard work, skill, and heart that goes into a painting is enough to get you going. While anyone can buy and collect art without extensive research, knowing a few handy guidelines might make the process smooth sailing for you, and allow you better to navigate the intriguing dynamics of an art gallery.


The Background


To know the value and the intricacies of a piece of fine art, the art collector must first do some background research. This does not mean that you need an art degree to know the finetuning behind a painting, just some research into the background of the picture is enough. Potential art collectors should try to get to know about the artist, their previous works and exhibitions, and their art history. Knowing the artist will help in understanding and predicting the value of the art you are interested in.


The more renowned the artist is, the more valuable your art collection will be. Going through an artist’s painting process can get you more connected with the art you re buying, and will help you better understand the significance of the context. For example, I make a habit of documenting my art process through photography or film because I believe that the journey an artist goes through with a painting is just as significant in building value in the art as the artist’s background.


Contextual Meaning

While the art may boast special characteristics that appeal to you, like vibrant hues or abstract elements, understanding a piece of art in its context is part and parcel of a good art collection. Some art pieces show what they mean to show precisely, like a scenic portrait or character profile, and there is also fine art that forces you to look deeper, beyond the most prominent elements on the canvas and at the meaning the artist wished to convey. While experienced art collectors and art gallery experts may be good at this analysis, going over the context that the art was created gives a great view of the image of a piece.


Art galleries often have exclusive and solo exhibitions to let the viewers and critics have an unabridged view of the artist's style, context, and inspiration. My collection 'Famous faces', was a collection on its own, all painting working on a similar vein and concept. Looking at any one portrait from the collection, an experienced viewer would understand the retro 'blast from the past' theme, yet understand that each piece had its own context, mood, and feel. Understanding the contextual meaning behind each painting will perfectly help the art collector analyze the fine art message.


Art Gallery

The art gallery plays a large part in building an appreciation of art collection. The display, importance placed on textures and hues, the placement of different pieces in comparison to each other all work towards an understanding of art. It is recommended to attend as many art exhibitions and galleries as possible to acquaint yourself with the nature of art galleries and increase your appreciation of fine art. You can join local museums, art shows, and browse online collections to increase your art glossary. This will help you pick out the best pieces for your collection and select the art that defines your style.


Pricing


For expanding your art collection, pricing is an important factor. While you may be able to get a good deal through market research, the price of a painting set by the artist is fixed in most cases. An important thing to remember is that it is not your work to place a value on an artist’s painting or judge its worth; that is what the artist has to do. What you can do is analyze your budget, try to see if the painting is well worth its price set by comparing to other paintings in the same budget, different paintings by the same artist, or similar paintings by a different artist.


The pricing reflects the effort and time the artist has put into the piece, as well as additional incurred costs, so the art collector must be aware of these complexities when judging the value of the price set. Nonetheless, when you buy original art, you should expect to pay some money for it. Fine art represents the artist's skills and talent and conveys their message, and you will be getting unique work for your art collection, which is why budgeting can be a tough issue to mitigate.


“You are an artist when you make someone feel something deep and unexpected.” - Amanda Palmer


"To express a feeling without words, that is the true gratification of art.”

-Amber Limbaugh


Despite these guidelines, and in addition to them, the way you feel about a piece of art should be what motivates you to buy at the end of the day. A painting that inspires feelings in you, and moves you, should be bought to invoke your emotions, because ultimately art is feeling, and expressing feelings is art.


Whenever I paint a piece, there is as much as an emotional connection to my inspiration as there is a physical one, so even if I paint with a brush and colors, I am working with my mind. As an art collector, the feelings that fine art evokes in you are just as important as other considerations in an art collection, and at the end of the day, that is what matters.

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