Art is subjective, inspiring, emotional, political and sometimes radical. All these reasons and more is why I am so obsessed with art in many forms. Paintings to sculptures, photography and drawings, I am a huge fan of it all. I've always wanted to have a nice art collection but wasn't sure where to start. I'm not the richest person so I can't just go to the next Sotheby's or Christie's auction expecting to score big. After doing a bit of research I discovered a few steps I need to take to get started and I wanted to share with you. I'll be starting these steps with hopes to land my first art piece over the next few months.
The first step before making any big purchase is to research. You have to be knowledgeable of what you are buying and why. When researching, I don't mean just going through old art history books, I'm referring to actually getting out and seeing art. It's always good to refine your aesthetic before making a purchase, this way you are training yourself to recognize good works and defining your own art taste. You will be able to find out what you do and do not like so making a purchase will be even easier for you. Art fairs, galleries and even museums are a great place to take a stroll and get familiar with the different artists and their mediums.
Once you have had a chance to look around you will probably begin to notice the types of art you are attracted to and the artists. It's always good when you're looking at art to ask questions whether it's to the art dealer, gallery owner or the artist themselves. Here are a few questions to help you get started:
-How was the art created?
-What is the background of the artist?
-Is this artist well-known?
-Is the artwork part of an edition series?
-What is the price?
Asking these questions will help you get a better sense of the art, the artist and the value the art industry has placed on the artist and their work. Well known artists tend to have many fans and their prices could be on the rise if not already high, this could be a good buy if the price is in your range. If an artist isn't well-known but you are a fan of their work, please support. All artists are trying to survive and produce their best work but they cannot do so if they do not have support.
In addition to viewing art you can also check out a few books. This is also a good way to learn about different artists and their works. They are informative and will also make great coffee table books as well as good conversation starters.
A few good art books to get started with are:
-Art: The Definitive Visual Guide by Andrew Graham-Dixon
-The Impossible Collection of Warhol by Eric Shiner
-Broad Stokes: 15 Women Who Made Art and History (in That Order) by Lisa Congdon
-Frida Kahlo: Fashion as the Art of Being by Susana Martinez Vidal
-Art: Over 2,500 Works from Cave to Contemporary by Nigel Ritchie
Auctions are another source to get pieces for your collection but can also assist in putting into perspective prices for a particular artist or style of artwork. These days you can find auctions online and the Sotheby's in New York City also allows you to visit for free and view the high profile sale before the auctions.
After you have done your research, made a budget and are ready to purchase your first artwork there are many ways to get started. I have put together a list of resources that can be beneficial in making your first purchase.
Artnet has a listing of auctions including their own online auction, galleries, events, exhibitions and even offers a pricing database tool if you're interested in tracking the prices of art at past auctions and upcoming sales. This tool is an acceptable way to appraise your own collection.
Art Money allows you to purchase artwork with their help and you only pay a 10% deposit. Over the course of 10 months you make monthly interest-free payments, but you are able to take the artwork home the day you make the deposit. The loans range from $1,000 to $50,000 which helps to support the artists, galleries and empower you as a buyer.
Artsy has an extensive collection and prices that are suited for first time buyers and long time collectors. You're able to make a bid or an offer to buy immediately.
In addition to above, you can always visit art fairs and galleries to look for pieces to purchase, below is a list of a few upcoming art fairs in New York City:
Affordable Art Fair September 26 - September 29, 2019
Showcasing local, national and international art exhibitors with artworks ranging from $100 to $10,000 from over 300 contemporary artists.
Clio Art Fair October 10 - October 13, 2019
550 West 29th St New York, NY
Allows independent artists to engage with varying art collectors and curators without a long term intermediary. Guests are able to view and purchase works of art by several independent artists.
IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair October 23 - October 27, 2019
Largest print art fair celebrating the 500 years of printmaking while showcasing rare prints and emerging artists.