I highly recommend purchasing art by living artists. Sounds daunting, right? Costs a fortune, right? How do I know what is “valuable”, right? It may feel like an elitist endeavor, but it is simply is not any of that. There are many artistswho are creating something every day in NYC and who sell their work at reasonable prices. I am always on the lookout for art for clients and also for myself. Let’s take it step by step:
Daunting: Well, you go into a store and see a sofa that you like, and it costs $2500. It wears out, and you have to replace it. You get tired of the color, so you reupholster it from time to time. AND, about 1 million or so people have the exact same sofa. NOT SO WITH ART. You purchase a painting for $2,000 (or less). It is the focal point of the room. You can move it to any wall in your house. (Try that with a sofa!) You look at it and it changes on it’s own from time to time…you just see different things. And you are the only one in the world who has this piece. It is possible that you can meet the artist, depending on the condition of purchase. And the art may increase in value, but it will be eternally valuable to you because you love it. This is not daunting, this is an investment in something that lasts forever! How many purchases can you say that about? The Arts Student’s League of New York has periodic studio shows for their students, and the work is for sale at very reasonable prices. It is a great feeling to support an individual’s early career and get something beautiful at the same time. I have a large oil painting in my bedroom from one of these shows. It is 6 feet high by 3 feet wide. Cost: $700. I wake up to it everyday, and I absolutely love it.
Cost: I saw an artist’s work on the sidewalk outside of MOMA. Very compelling imagery and great colors. They were small oils on rough canvas as a fabric, and she was selling them for $70 each, framed (plastic). I spoke with her and she came to my client’s house with about 30 pieces to select from. My client and I chose the nine paintings that you see above. You figure out the math. Her name is Martha Murphy and she exhibits outside of MOMA regularly (weather permitting).
Value: Putting aside the mercurial aspects of the art world and how it “values” art from a cost perspective, I see the value this way: You are purchasing something that is compelling to you, and which is made by a living person who is continually making new things. That in itself is exciting. From a global perspective, the value is in supporting the process of creation. We do that when we attend concerts or see our favorite band play. And even that is ephemeral….it is gone when the event is over. So we purchase the CD to try and preserve the event and memory. Purchasing art is forever. It is permanent. It is not trendy. It is an expression of your individual taste and aesthetic. That, in itself, is of great VALUE.
In your home, a room has one floor and four walls. We spend a lot of money on the things that go on the floor, and relatively little on the things that go on the walls. Let’s shift that ratio just a bit. It is an important part of design.
Here are some other artists that I love.
Tiffany Dugan – http://www.tiffanydugan.com/
William Engel – http://williamengel.net/
Linda Schrank – http://www.lindaschrank.com/Linda_Schrank/home.html