Buying Original Art From Unknown Artists
Many people do not think they can own original art, either scared off by the higher prices or intimidated by their lack of knowledge. But by purchasing original art from lesser known artists you can save money. Here are some simple tips to selecting good original art for your home.
Original art is art that is the actual artists work, it is not a copy or print. For the purposes of this article I will be referring to 2 dimensional art, such as paintings or drawings. Paintings may be oil, acrylic, watercolor, mixed media, or a variety of other media. Oil and acrylic paintings are generally NOT put behind glass, whereas watercolors, and drawings are.
Original Art is not mass produced in any way. It should be signed. Often a more well known artist will have prints made from his or her original, these are made in limited numbers and are called “Editions”. Limited editions are valuable when done by acclaimed artists. Limited edition prints are always signed and numbered, either by hand or in the plate itself, after which the plate is destroyed. The prints are on acid free paper and will stand the test of time.
Most of the art you see in furniture stores, department stores, and so on, is NOT original art, nor is it a valuable limited edition. This art is often massed produced and usually what you are paying for when you buy it is, in fact, the frame, it may have a signature on it, but the signature is part of the print. When in doubt ask about the artist.
There is also a system of painting that involves one person painting the sky and a mountain, another person painting in some background trees, another painting in a cabin, deer, or creek, and yet another person paints the foreground. These paintings are quite recognizable, and generic. Each one looks a bit like the other. It is unlikely these pieces will even gain value.
Where to Buy and What to Buy
Art galleries and Art shows are the most common places you will find original art, and before an artist is well known you can often find them selling pieces out of their home or studio, or even in smaller consignment stores and places that display local art.
I would like to point out that not all Art Galleries are the same, some, like those in shopping malls, sell prints more than originals, if you are looking for original art in a gallery you need to look for a gallery that has actual art showings by selected artists.
What should you buy? Well for starters buy something you like… Do not buy something only because you want to make money, if you do not like it as a piece of work, there is no point in owning it. Buy something with meaning, a painting that makes a statement is more likely to be worth something than a painting of a pretty little stream. That is not to say pretty pictures do not go up in value, they do, but ONLY if the artist gains fame.