Why should we buy art? “It’s like asking why we fall in love, the reasons are so various.”
Art historian Kenneth Clark got it right. And with so many reasons to take the plunge and buy art, it’s tough to know where to dive in. Here are just a few reasons you should start your art collection.
1. For the Thrill of Discovery
About the world, about the artist, about yourself. Great art lovers strive to create a collection that conveys something about themselves. Collecting art allows us to articulate our personality and our taste, on our walls. While collecting shows a vulnerability, and puts your taste on display—literally, it’s on the wall for everyone to see—with your first purchase you’re joining a small group of people who have braved the treacherous marketplace in hopes of enriching their every day lives. If you’re buying what you love, it never goes out of style, you’ll never get sick of it, and you will be glad you took the leap.
2. For the stories
What begins as “the desire to possess” turns into a profound need to share. Art will become the first thing you see when you walk into a collector’s home, and it is truly transformative. Each piece of a collection tells a story and you will become proud of these narratives, proud of the patronage, and proud to put you mark on our cultural history. Buying your first piece of art is emotional, and as your collection grows, so too will your pride of ownership.
3. For the beauty
Well, duh. Since humans drew animals on cave walls 250,000 years ago, art has been appreciated for its beauty and its emotional power. The overwhelming amount of conceptual art makes it easy to dismiss the value of an artwork’s beauty. With blank walls you can create an environment that is aesthetically uniquely yours. You can look at the work in your home every day and continue to get renewed pleasure. And what begins as a task to find furnishing for empty walls becomes a passion to outfit your home with a thoughtful articulation of your personality and our taste.
4. For the Patronage
Art is a great way to discover new cultures outside of our own. It ignites a conversation about ideas, inspirations and motivations of differing societies and experiences. Through collecting and discovering different artists, artworks, and collectors, we deepen our knowledge and appreciation of the world around us. Meeting other people who have identified and embraced their role as art world patrons allows you access to the club.
The art game is a hustle. Many artists cannot thrive creating art alone and have second jobs to support themselves. Not to mention that Fine Art ranked one of the lowest paying career paths studied in college. With more people buying, these artists can focus on their passion of creating. And you, the collector, can take pride in your support of someone’s dream and their vision.
5. For the passion
In the case of art, and with virtually everything else we own, collecting is something between your stomach, your heart and your head. You will find it overwhelmingly compelling to collect. “The passion is so intense it’s like a disease.” Art provides you with visceral and emotional satisfaction you can’t get from anything else, and it doesn’t wear off. David Bowie, an avid collector over the course of his lifetime, once said: “art was, seriously, the only thing I’d ever wanted to own. It has always been for me a stable of nourishment. I use it. It can change the way I feel in the morning.” And if Bowie says it, it must be true. Quite simply, art enriches your life and feeds your soul.
Final thoughts? It’s easier than you think! Go to a gallery. Visit a museum. Attend an auction. Or skip all the traveling and just shop here.