Friday, January 08, 2010

Savvy art article-NY, How to collect art

NYC magazine, Savvy, published a piece which I wrote this morning (east coast time). It's about how to colect art. Have a read of it here.

Here's the original article I wrote:

Art is driven like the clothes business, by fashion. But art, whether it be paintings, film, photography or sculpture, outlasts fashion. Fashion is a churning beast which survives by consuming itself. It's a bad guide for art. Ignore what's popular because it won't be tomorrow. If you are buying art for investment you are always thinking with regard to the future. The best way to understand the future is to relate to the past.

The art that lasts, is the art that touches the human in us. The art that makes us reflect or vibrate. The art that can transfer it's vibration to us. It's the existence of the human in the work that vibrates with us. That vibration is of extraordinary value. The primitive. The human touch. Even Leonardos Mona Lisa is a primitive combination of earth pigments ground and mixed with mediums such as egg, oils and water.

All of that sounds pretentious. How can you relate that to the, day to day and find art of value? Well in short, buy the art that appeals to you. The art which you like, which does not require a story to prop it up. If the story is lost then the work looses it's connection to you and others, so don't let yourself be convinced by a smooth talking gallery owner. Allow yourself to see, not just with your eyes but with your heart, your lungs. Allow yourself to drink in the art.

Then apply your intellect. Start to calculate. Ask yourself about the artist. Ask about their history. It doesn't really matter if they have been to art college. Especially now, when they don't usually teach anything of substance. Your guide to the value of the work is whether the artist is driven. That's what will tell you whether they will continue to be driven. Will this artist continue to experiment. Will they make a mark. Will they inspire other artists. Are they a chapter in the history of art. Are they even a page? Are they sincere?

And if the answer to all these questions is no, yet the work appeals to you, you have still found a piece of art. Not an investment of course but art and art has a value in your life which goes beyond the surplus of coins that flow from the slot machine on the last day of your life.

Some people might remember us by that mass of coin. That slush fund they can cash in on or measure us by. None of that matters to us when we have finished living. The only thing that matters, ultimately, is the vibration of life we attune ourselves to while alive. Live like that and buy art like that and you'll find art that has value and will have value in the future.

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