Art is like wine, there is art at every price range and for every taste. Just find out what pleases you and start to enjoy the experience. For a novice, the wonderful world of the arts can be overwhelming. There are a bunch of galleries, a lot of names to be memorized. This is not to mention the various periods and movements, the countless fairs to be visited and the absurd prices we see in the market. However, it is still possible to start a collection without breaking the bank. It will be difficult to stop buying or investing, as this universe is so fascinating that it tends to become an addiction. Each new acquisition becomes a new love. And regardless of whether we become collectors, we do become passionate. And believe me, it’s fun! The universe of the arts connects people, cultures, knowledge, and realities. As I recently heard from a large Brazilian collector, it is an option: in case there is doubt between either buying a new purse or artwork, she always goes for the latter! I completely agree with her
Whether you are looking to create a wall full of prints, paintings, and photos or wanting to invest in special works, finding art for your home is a surefire way to put personality and the finishing touch into your personal space. But because many people assume that art has to be expensive, collecting it often seems like a dream. With a focus on what pleases you and sometimes with a good art consultant, you can be on your way to selecting a collection you can be proud of without spending too much in the process.
To begin this wonderful adventure through the fabulous world of the arts, here are some tips that may be helpful.
1. Start with what is familiar: Invest in artists from your country
Art brings us closer to our cultures; having work by an artist from our home country will always give us a feeling of familiarity with smells and tastes that accompany us wherever we are.
2.Understand your taste
Don’t be afraid of disliking contemporary art and prefer the old masters, outsiders, landscapes, flowers or still lives. Art is art. Undisputed quality can be found in every school and movement.
3. Don’t worry about the sofa fabric
Leave this task to your interior designer. Art has to be where it pleases the eye. Don’t worry about buying works that match the décor. This is not a good formula. Art is independent, without ties to the carpet or the pattern of the sofa. Decorating by itself is another style of making art: art for a living. Here we are talking about art to live with.
4. Engravings are always more affordable
Embrace prints, especially those that are part of small series, those with a lower number in the series or even PA’s: proofs of the artist. Paper copies are usually more affordable values. The exuberance of a limited edition woodcut, lithograph, or print is unimaginable.
5. Buy only what is eye-catching
If you stop in front of work and lose your breath, I assure you that you will never get tired of it. This does not mean that it will happen with everything you come across. But as a rule, this technique works.
The number of emerging artists with indescribable talent is unbelievable. Visiting open studios in Bushwick in Brooklyn can be a great start. Values are more affordable and I guarantee your walls will have unusual things.
Last but not least,
7. Even the children’s drawings work
A wonderful drawing by one of your children could one day reveal a great Picasso in the family. So don’t be afraid to frame the house, dog, or family drawn by one of the kids. Art that does not express any feeling is not worth it!
That said, I want to point out that we have so many options and talented artists out there that you need to just start investigating. I guarantee you will come across wonderful works for your home and for your life.
Value the work of every artist whether a beginner or an established one. Art magnifies, criticizes, protests, illustrates and delights. The key is to start. Just do not start with works from your local Target store!
Maria-Fernanda Mazzuco is a Brazilian art advisor based in Brooklyn, NY for the last 14 years. She specializes in contemporary art and is a board member of Annex_B, an art residency program for Brazilian artists in Bushwick. She also represents the renowned Galeria Estação, from São Paulo, Brazil, which is focused on Brazilian contemporary and outsider art.
Fernanda is an art lover and keeps a small art collection in her Park Slope townhouse.