Art knowledge and does it matter when buying Art

Recently I’ve been reading art magazines and looking through art books that I bought years ago. All to re-familiarise myself with different art movements, influences, techniques and aesthetics.  The more I read the more I realise that unless you have spent your entire education absorbing all of that you may never be in a position to decide whether a piece of art is good.

That, then begs the question, how can the average art appreciator without that knowledge decide if a piece is good?  I’m not sure that is actually the question.  On many occasions, here in the Gallery a visitor will say ‘I don’t know anything about art’; my standard response is simply if you like it.it doesn’t matter.  I know for those with the training and the experience that is the antithesis of art theory.  But in a commercial situation we are here to sell art.

I realised also that we all approach buying art in different ways. Personally, I feel that if an artist elicits an emotional response from the viewer then the artist has done their job.  For me that emotional response is the first thing I want when I consider whether to buy a piece. My second consideration is; am I still thinking about the piece once I’ve walked away.  Sometime if I have limited time, say an hour, this can have a big impact on whether I want the art work.  Here in the Gallery we have seen visitors return time and time again to a specific piece either in the same visit or over successive visits.  When that happens it usually results in a sale.

That is just one way to approach buying art.  With others, it is purely for décor.

Academically this is not always an artists preferred option but as we like to say; a sale is a sale. For some it is vitally important that the artwork suits the room, whether it be the colour the space, theme or the lighting.  This is just as valid a way to approach buying art as any.  Some people may only ever buy one or two pieces in their entire lives.

You do get the collectors, and every gallery wants a few of these buyers on their books.  They, of course, will be those in the know.  Their collections will be shaped by their personal preferences on styles and influences and possibly education.  Many collectors, because they recognise after much experimentation and experience, those artists who have the potential to be investment producers, may buy for long term investment.

As a commercial gallery, we don’t really have an opinion as to what is the best way to approach buying art.  If you love it and want to take it home, we are here to help.