Are you considering buying your very first piece of art and just don’t know where to start? Here are a few things to consider when diving into the exciting but often intimidating world of art.
Buying art is always an investment. If you buy a piece of art because you love it then it is an emotional investment, if its value increases over time…well that just a bonus.
To feel confident in your art purchase you need to know you interests and trust your gut, don’t be afraid to get weird, love it or hate it your initial knee jerk reaction is what you should be listening to when looking at art. Don’t let your mind start to wonder into the world of ‘is this what I should be buying’ trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to get weird…remember, you are going to have to look at this thing pretty often and you don’t want it to end up feeling like a Pinterest inspired tattoo that although it may look pretty just doesn’t make you feel right with yourself.
The best way to recognize your own sentiments about art is to educate yourself, get out there and see as much of it as you can…after all you can’t fall in love with a piece of art you are yet to see! We advise visiting your local galleries and art exhibitions. It doesn’t take much time and you don’t need to feel worried that you are expected to buy something when you are visiting an art gallery. Art appreciators are always welcome in the art world whether they are purchasing or not.
Current exhibitions: UWI Degree Show at The National Museum and Art Gallery, 'Four Artists New Works' (Duncan, Fulchan, James and Williams) at 101 Art Gallery, Sherlan Peters and Naomi Lushington at Horizons Art gallery.
Now that you have seen what’s out there and you have educated your internal art critic its time to think about budget. You want to have a budget in mind when approaching your first art purchase (but also be prepared to go a little over this if you must, trust us, you will never forget the piece of art you fell in love with and didn’t buy because it was a little more than you had hoped to spend). There is art for every budget and you may want to look at different mediums as these often affect the price. For instance photography and limited edition prints are often more affordable than oil paintings and sculptures due to the difference in cost of materials. It is also good to be mindful of additional costs such as framing, shipping/delivery and installation.
Buying art as an investment is an expert’s game that requires research into art trends, knowledge of local and global art markets and insight into emerging talent. Purchasing for investment is always worth considering so in absence of the expertise a good rule of thumb is to look at artists who are valued among their peers, have strong technical ability (so you know the quality of art itself is good) and have been recognized for their efforts. A good example of this for us is artist Sarah Beckett, a seasoned artist who in the past 6 months alone has received international art awards* for her unique paintings that nod to her love affair with Trinidad, for us this is the perfect marriage of emotional and informed art buying. At the end of it all however "There is no value in life except what you choose to place upon it and no happiness in any place except what you bring to it yourself." - Henry David Thoreau
* Becketts awards include: The Leonardo da Vinci Universal Artist prize - Florence, Itay The International Prize of Nations - Tribute to Tiziano - Venice and the International Prize Raffaello - Bologna Italy.