Art enables you to add an individual touch to your home, but how do you go about choosing, buying, framing and caring for a work of art?
Art enthusiasts agree that buying art purely for the sake of investment isn’t sensible. You need to like what you are buying as you need to take responsibility for the care and preservation of the piece. When selecting art for your home, consider sculptures, ceramics, glassware or metalwork. If you’re keen on purchasing a wood carving, pay attention to style, form and detail. The theme should also be unique.
When buying a photograph, the print should be signed and preferably be part of a limited edition numbered series. If you are looking at etchings, look for the indentation lines created by the plate as the paper passes through the machine – they should be visible running along two sides of the paper. Etchings should always be signed and should be part of a limited series, which usually consists of about 300 copies.
Broadening your knowledge will help you to make better choices: there’s no point buying an oil painting if you don’t really like oils – perhaps you prefer pastels or pencil drawings. Content is also important. Do you enjoy abstract or modern art? Do you prefer landscapes or wildlife? Browse through a few local online galleries such as
Art museums are also great places to pick up a wealth of information and learn about trends. Once you have your ideas firmly in place, you can visit a reputable gallery and start the process of finding your dream piece. ‘Seek good advice from knowledgeable people before you make a purchase,’ says Shaun Maloney, a practising artist and owner of the Art Café Gallery in Milnerton, Cape Town. ‘Everyone has to start somewhere so it makes sense to buy the best you can afford.’ Original art doesn’t have to be exorbitant, so buy the original wherever possible. Here are a few questions to ask the gallery owner:
- Is this artist established in the market?
- How old is the artist?
- May I see early works by this artist?
- What do you like about this artist’s work?