Art Collection in Plain Language

There’s No Place Like Times Square

You don’t have to be intimidated about buying art. Here are some myths about art collection.

  1. You have to be some snobby, wealthy elite public figure or museum to be an art collector;
  2. Art is strictly collected as future financial investments;
  3. Collectable art is old;
  4. All art is expensive.

Art collection is as simple as knowing what you like, and purchasing what you can afford for whatever reason or reasons you have to collect it. A collector; therefore, is anyone who buys the art that he or she needs or wants.

Stick a piece in a dark high tech vault if you feel like it. Hang a picture on the wall of your office if you want, or prop a sculpture up on a table in your home. Just make sure you know what you want, know what you need it for and that the price is right.

If you are human, then you have feelings. Emotion can be a good aspect of our species. Don’t be afraid or ashamed of that. Buying art requires connecting with and utilizing emotion and no one knows how art appeals to you better than you do. There is no need to feel naïve about expressing an interest in purchasing visual artwork. Some do feel this way due to some assumption that there is some experience or education required for collecting. It is not necessary, and if you want to know anything at all about a piece of artwork that interests you in any way, then by all means contact the gallery or other facility that exhibits it or simply ask the artist. E-mail, phone or talk to him or her face-to-face.

There are some people who are afraid to reach out to artists because they believe in a stereotype that most artists are eccentric, tortured, belligerent and reclusive. The vast majority of the world’s artists are not (I’ll have to address that stereotype sometime down the road).

Look up and surf through art websites. If you go to a restaurant and take notice of the art hanging on the walls, ask the server or manager where the art came from or if they know who the artist is. Add your name to the mailing lists of artists, galleries and art schools for invitations to exhibits and art fairs. Keep your ears open for local art sales, artist run initiatives, Open Studios and Artist Open Houses. Inquire if gallery curators offer written guides or give lectures on art collecting. Subscribe to several art blogs and magazines.

You do not have to stand about cross-legged in galleries wearing a beret and floods while sipping wine and nibbling cheese as you listen to someone blather on about nothing in an effort to seem knowledgeable and important.

Do you know who probably make the best examples of the world’s greatest and most abundant art collectors? You might be momentarily surprised when I tell you the answer but it should make sense to you soon after. Most are not rich celebrities, business people and politicians but celebrities, business people and politicians are included among them. They’re tattoo clients. They know what they like, they know what they want, they know what they’re willing to spend and they boldly go straight to the artist of choice to get exactly what they’re after.

So, whether it’s an original painting, print, sculpture, tattoo or something else, be bold and you’ll be a successful collector.


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