5 Steps To Building Your Art Collection Like A Pro

  • 01 of 07

    5 Steps To Building Your Art Collection Like A Pro

    5 Steps To Building Your Art Collection Like A Pro
    Jackson Pollock at work. Jackson Pollack

    I know that we don't often talk about it this way, but whatever angle you come at it from, art is kind of all about compulsion. One of the things that I most love about art is the passion behind the creation of it. To be an artist is to be absolutely compelled to create. To love art is to be compelled by it, and for many of us that compulsion takes the form of a healthy and growing art collection. It is amazing what can come from the soul of an artist – the good, the bad, the beautiful, and...MORE the mysterious. And it's equally amazing, the range of things that art can make us see, think about and feel. 

    It’s not an easy thing to do – to dig deep and let the creativity flow to find interesting and effective ways in which to express oneself. Which is why the other thing that I love so much about art relates to how people connect with it. It’s a vulnerable situation that artists put themselves in when sharing their work with others. A piece of their truth is revealed and how viewers interpret it can never be predicted. As a gallery owner, I have the opportunity on a daily basis to witness this interaction - people seeing, reacting to, and, if it's their lucky day, falling completely in love with art. 

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  • 02 of 07

    5 Steps To Building Your Art Collection Like A Pro

    5 Steps To Building Your Art Collection Like A Pro
    Israeli Moroccan artist Miriam Cabessa creating her work. A full body experience. Miriam Cabessa

    The magic of having art in our homes is not only what it stirs in us or how we interpret it, but what it says about us; how it expresses who we are to those who come into our spaces, and the things that surround us in those spaces where we most want to be at peace. For each of us, the art that we gravitate towards is as much of a reflection of our own passions, hopes, fears and desires as it is a reflection of the spirit of the person that made it. The feeling we get when we see a compelling...MORE piece of art is similar to that feeling we get when we’re hooked on a book that we just can’t put down, or when we see a beautifully designed handmade mid-century modern chair. And when we see those pieces that move us we all start wondering how we can get these pieces into our homes. And that, for many of us, is where the problem begins. We tend to think of art collecting as something only for the wealthy. And if that's how you think of collecting art, I've got good news for you. 

    The art world is not as intimidating a place as you’d think. Well, perhaps approximately 1% (or so) of the art world is a bit intimidating, but the other 99% truly isn’t. Everyone should have their own art collection – a reflection of who we are and what we’ve chosen to surround ourselves with in the place that we spend our most personal moments. And to help get you on the road to building the collection that will redefine your home, I've got 5 super simple tips for building your collection like the rock star, insider, savvy art buyer you are: 

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  • 03 of 07

    Visit Your Local Art Museums

    5 Steps To Building Your Art Collection Like A Pro
    The 2015 Picasso Sculpture exhibit at the New York MoMA. MOMA

    Before you can start collecting art, the first thing you need to have is a sense of what your like. So where better to go than where all of the art is? So head to your nearest fine art museum, and start out by spending some time just cruising around, taking in what you like. The trick is not to focus on a piece just because it’s pretty, but rather to focus on it because you feel something when you look at it. Next, when it comes to remembering what you see and what you like, you'll want to...MORE go old school. Don't take photos of what you see. Try to take mental images instead and absorb the work without the filter of a digital screen. If you want to remember the name of the artist or painting you love, jot it down in a notebook so you can look it up online at home. Check out the artist’s other artworks and observe whether their entire body of work speaks to you or if it’s just certain pieces. As you walk through the exhibitions, notice artists that you’re most drawn to and what they have in common. Notice what you’re most drawn to visually. I’ll say it again – take mental pictures, not iPhone shots! 

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  • 04 of 07

    Sign Up For Artsy

    5 Steps To Building Your Art Collection Like A Pro
    Artsy

    This next step is a bit more high tech. These days there's an app for everything and collecting art is no different. Sign up for a free Artsy account. Artsy is an online database listing artists and galleries. You can use your Artsy account to search for the artists that you saw at the museum and “follow” them through the site. This will help you keep all of your inspirations together in one place and you will receive suggestions on other artists you might want to follow based on the type of...MORE work you’re drawn to. Follow artists and galleries that carry the type of work you like most.

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  • 05 of 07

    Go Gallery Hopping

    5 Steps To Building Your Art Collection Like A Pro
    Simons Finnerty

    Here's where hunting for art gets fun. Museums are great, but they're usually a little reluctant when it comes to people wanting to buy things off the walls. So your next step is to start frequenting the places that specialize in that kind of thing. Art galleries are one of the best places to find new and exciting artists and work at a variety of price points. If you live in an area with a concentrated arts district, the galleries will often have their opening receptions on the same...MORE night of the week so you can visit several over the course of a couple of hours. Art openings and reception parties are lots of fun. There's interesting people, wine and lots of great art. Sometimes the artist will talk about their work and you'll get some extra insight into what inspires them. To keep costs down if you decide to buy, try to find galleries that specialize in emerging to mid-career contemporary artists or that support local artists. 

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  • 06 of 07

    Always Ask Questions

    5 Steps To Building Your Art Collection Like A Pro
    Jenn Singer Gallery

    If you have questions about the artwork or the artist, engage with the gallery staff and ask them to tell you more about the work. If you find yourself going back to the same galleries it can be beneficial to strike up a relationship with the gallery or even some of the artists you follow. If you’ve seen an artwork that you’re intrigued by, don’t be afraid to ask for the price list if there aren’t wall labels. Don’t assume that everything is out of your price range. Remember: There’s no shame in...MORE asking the price. And when you're perusing the walls, look for red dots on or near the pieces of art. Red dots = sold! 

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  • 07 of 07

    Go For It!

    5 Steps To Building Your Art Collection Like A Pro
    A Delphine Diallo photograph in a beautiful space. Delphine Diallo

    You don’t have to commit to a big expensive artwork the first time you go out - or even the second or third. You're just starting your collection and the idea is that this is something that you'll be working on for years to come. So there's no need to rush. Start slowly by buying a small painting, photograph, drawing or sculpture. Here's an inside tip: If you find a work that’s more than you wanted to spend at once, many galleries are willing to let you pay over two or three...MORE months time, with an initial deposit. 

    In the end, what’s most important about starting to build your art collection is that you buy what you love, which will make your home feel like a personal, warm space that reflects your inner self. Enjoy the journey of creating your collection and connecting with the artwork that speaks to your passions and personality.