It’s easy enough to find the general reasons people buy art. There are videos all over YouTube that try to spell out the various reasons people invest time, money, wall space and other things in the buying of pictorial art. One brave young soul narrowed it down to two reasons that people buy art:
- The art connects with something in the buyer’s life.
- The client likes the artist.
This is bold reasoning, and it is well argued, but I’m not really interested in exploring why other people buy art, mainly because I have a pretty good understanding of why I buy art. However, knowing the pluses of buying art is the challenge. It’s hard to find any pertinent information on how a buyer is benefited from the purchase of art, so that’s what I’m here to explore. What exactly are the benefits of buying art?
The first and perhaps most obvious benefit to owning art is simply to fill up the empty spaces on your walls: Art as decoration. But let’s be clear, there are two ways you can go with this: You can easily go to the “Home” section of art at Walmart and buy the cheaply printed, mass-produced, multi-coloured, plastic, cretinous canvases. Or you can look for one of the many artists who live in your own home town and buy something that is unique, hand-made, intelligently produced, authentic and individual. If you feel led to lean to the latter rather than the former, then I have done the first part of my job well.
Buying original art from an artist, local or not, is something akin to buying from the small business man over the mega-franchise, or simply buying local rather from a national chain. And if you live in a town or city of a greater population than 100, then there are likely quality artists who live in a single-room bachelor-suite apartment near you. Buying art from such people will help them in ways that you may not be aware of.
Buying art from artists . . .
- helps them to be able to continue creating their respective art because you have encouraged them
- encourages them because you have appreciated something they have created
- strengthens them because you have put some funds into their pockets
- perpetuates the creation of art because you have made the statement that REAL art (art that is one-of-a-kind, that is the expression of a human heart, not a printer, that is also and expression of intellect, intelligence and introspection, not to mention observation) is important to you personally and important for your community and your culture. Bravo!
Buying original art does more than make you an altruistic son of a gun, though. When I walk into a person’s home, I often look around to see what kind of decor a person or family prefers. You might be dressed in ragged jeans and a T-shirt, smoking a cigarette and blatantly ogling my girlfriend. But if I see a collection of original art, in my mind, you’re dressed like royalty, smoking a pipe with costly tobacco and giving the woman on my arm respectful praise. It’s that simple. The presence of original art is a plus for any person’s home.
While the art that you may purchase is certainly something that reflects the heart of the artist who created it, make no mistake, buying and displaying art also reflects—just as poignantly—YOU, the art of the buyer—YOUR heart, YOUR personality, YOUR preferences, YOUR character. When I walk into your living room that has art of a variety of artists displayed, it says something of you and can shape our relationship—whether friendly or professional.
On a first visit to my home, you’ll be able to see by my humble collection of art that I prefer contemporary works but also enjoy much older works. You might notice that I have a penchant for collecting outdoor images—trees, more specifically. You may also notice that the few prints that I have are high quality, are well framed and are replicas of works by very well known artists. Ergo, I am not living in poverty, but I’m no millionaire either. You may also be able to tell that I have an ironic sense of humour and am interested in displaying art that shows skill. In short, I have displayed myself on my own walls just by displaying the art that I have purchased or that I have inherited. The art that I have purchased is the art that spells out me and therefore makes my home all that much more my own. And that feels good.
So, you have art as decor, art as style and art as first impression. These are among your benefits to purchasing art. If you have enough dough to feed yourself and spend a bit on the pleasures of life, purchasing quality, individual, original art has absolutely no draw backs. You are being noble with the purchase and you appear more noble with its display. The art you buy—hopefully, art that you enjoy—reflects you as an art admirer just as much as it reflects the artist as a creator. There’s no guarantee that your purchases will appreciate over time; there’s no guarantee that they will make coveted heirlooms. The only guarantee in the purchase of art is that you will be able to see and appreciate your own purchase whenever you sit in your favourite chair with a great beer in one hand and a superb movie on the tube.