Monday, May 9, 2011

Five Most Important Considerations when Purchasing Art

Five Most Important Considerations When Purchasing Art

Deciding on a piece of art for any environment can be frustrating and intimidating. The buyer needs to step back and ask “What am I trying to convey by buying this piece?” Of course, buyers need to like the piece they are purchasing but it is good to approach buying art work with a more purposeful intention. Here are five questions that every buyer should think about. If you are a visual person then the process is easier. If not, it is advisable to bring someone with you who finds it easy to visualize.

1) What do you want people to feel when they walk in the room where the art work hangs?

Art creates a specific energy in an environment. When someone enters the room what do you want them to feel? Do you want them to feel serene, hopeful, or excited? If you would like people to feel excited and enthusiastic then choose a piece with an energetic theme or a piece that was created with a strong red. If peace and serenity is something you'd like to project then a soft blue or a water landscape would be appropriate.

2) Does the piece work with your interior design?

It's wonderful to buy a piece you like and communicates your intention but there is also the design of the room to consider. A combination of too many colors sends mixed messages. For example, too much red and yellow together will create a feeling of agitation and discontent. If you are purchasing a painting with those colors then it is best to have neutral fabric on the furniture. If you have furniture with a bit more color then it is advisable to have a more neutral palette in the art work.

  1. What size and shape should the art work be?

You need to take a look at the size and shape of the room where the piece will hang. If you are choosing a piece for a room with a high ceiling then a vertical canvas is usually appropriate. The size of the canvas should be in proportion to the length of the wall. If you have fifteen foot ceilings then the piece could be eight to ten feet in length. If you have a large room but your ceiling is eight feet then a vertical canvas would be a better fit.

  1. How much should I pay for an original piece of art work?
Prices vary according to the reputation of the artist, size, and medium. Expect to pay more if you're wanting to purchase a piece by a well known contemporary artist. If this is the case then I suggest you peruse the web site of any contemporary art museum to familiarize yourself with cutting edge contemporary art and artists. Works on canvas painted will generally cost more than works on paper.(I highly recommend the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. I am a tour guide there so I'm biased). If you're looking to purchase from a local artist in your town or city, go to open studios in your area. They happen several times yearly and many bargains can to found.

  1. Abstract or Representational?

Often times this is a huge dilemma for buyers. It is easy to see the talent of a classic portrait or landscape artist, but what about the abstract piece you might find intriguing? If you're attempting to convey stability or a conservative feel in your environment then representation might work best. If you want to project a more contemporary energy then abstract art is an option. Again, consider your interior design. If you have Victorian furniture then a classic looking piece would harmonize the room. If your interior is a more sleek modern design with an Ikea look then an abstract piece would work quite well.

I hope this is helpful. Please visit my web site at for more info on choosing art. Any questions or comments please email