New York, NY
Artsicle is here to help you discover your taste in art, and find art you love, while supporting today's emerging artists. We get this question all the time, so we figured it was time to take a stab at it.
Finding art to adorn the walls of your home can be a daunting and intimidating task: there are a million different expert opinions, an exponentially growing pool of works to choose from, and the ever-present doubt that you might not be doing it “right.” It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to just grab some prints of flowers or laughing babies from Ikea and call it a day. But the whole process really doesn’t have to be this way! Finding a piece should feel natural and above all else, make you happy! This is our how-to guide to finding art you love, intended for all art lovers, whether or not you have a PhD, an MFA, or an accent.
Where to begin?
Start by taking in as much art as you can. Online, in galleries, at museums—the idea is to expose yourself as much as you can and see what sticks. When looking at art, let your gut be your guide. It’s ok to like something just because you’re attracted to it or it reminds you of a good memory.
If you’re a museum goer, think about some of your favorite pieces and what you like about them. Don’t worry that you can’t buy that particular piece or artist--you can discover work by emerging artists whose work makes you feel the same way. Who knows, they may have even been inspired by the piece you always stop in front of at the Met. Making these connections will provide you with some direction and a path to follow.
Decorating vs. Collecting
Choosing a piece because it goes with your couch is fine, but not if you don’t like anything else about it! Think about what colors, patterns, and textures you can live with—if a painting matches your rug perfectly but you hate the subject, it’s not worth the sacrifice.
Instead, think about the big decorating themes of your space. Do you need to brighten things up? Focus your search on bright colors. Working around a purple couch? Keep that in mind while you browse art. It may help to take a snapshot of your space with you while you’re searching to picture how the piece would look.
Once you’ve found “it,” understanding the artist’s purpose, practice, and beliefs can be a great way to enhance your connection with a work. Find his or her website, gallery, biography—whatever will give you a better idea of what is going on your walls.
One of the most wonderful things about collecting unique fine art is the story that goes with it. Embrace the story behind the art, by collecting unique works you are a patron of the arts in the most classical sense. Enjoy being able to share the stories of your art with your guests... you're sure to wow them with your cultural prowess.
Remember, at the end of the day you’ll be living with the art, not the artist. It’s ok if you interpret the work differently or just don’t like the artist in person!
Financial details can be the most irritating part of the process. Make it easy on yourself: decide on a budget beforehand, and stick to it. Once you’ve taken the time to sit down and figure out exactly how much you can spend, you can focus on the art. Just remember, art is an investment, but not necessarily in the same way as your 401k. Art that you really connect with in your space can improve your outlook and experience on a recurring basis, no therapist required.
Have No Fear!
Take risks! Don’t be afraid to “mess up” or let shyness get in the way of nabbing a one of a kind piece. Having a "no fear" attitude when it comes to starting your collection will give you the confidence to expand it down the line. Being willing to take risks doesn’t mean making hasty decisions- it means a confidence in your personal taste. Services, such as Artsicle, allow you to try work out in your home before purchasing, and most commercial galleries will afford you the same luxury, all you have to do is ask.
If an image stays with you long after you see a piece, there's a good chance you'll enjoy having it in your life. It's important to cultivate your eye, but also respect your own preferences and take a risk- who care's if your favorite artist will never show at Gagosian? Take a risk, and collect something because you love it- on the off chance that you grow tired of it, you can rotate it out for a newer acquisition until you're ready to see it again. If only all things in life were so simple!
The most important lesson to learn is to trust yourself and your taste. Not everyone is going to love the same things and it’s ok to express your opinion, even if you don’t have a background in art. Finding out what you don’t like is just as important as deciding what you do--developing your own taste takes time and some trial and error. Once you’ve conquered the fear of learning something new, collecting art can be the beginning of a life-long passion, enlivening not only your living space but your mind and soul.