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Why shouldn't you buy art?

I know this might seem like a counterproductive topic to hear about FROM an artist, but stay with me for a minute.

I spent a lot of time in art school reading about famous art. My favourite was the Rococo period, with gilded frames, bright colours, and a general over-the-top look to everything. I'll admit, it still has some influence on my decorating style now too.

I remember looking at the stories about artists from history whose work had been "found" or new pieces discovered that they hadn't known existed, and then how much they would sell for at auctions. I remember the stories of living artists making a spectacle with their work, or filling auctions with fake buyers to help increase the bids on their pieces. And I remember thinking it was probably a long shot if I wanted to be a professional artist. I'd either have to compromise my morals, or wait until I was dead to see any kind of financial action, which, for obvious reasons, wasn't a good option.

If the art world has shown us anything, investing in art is a really bad idea. For the most part, those stories of thrift store paintings being discovered and sold for thousands are few and far between, and with most of the population choosing art for its low price point and colour scheme (to match the couch, of course), we know that there are a lot of arbitrary reasons for artwork to be "worth" a lot.

So if art has no intrinsic value and can't keep up with your ever-changing colour scheme, why buy art at all?

Ultimately, you SHOULD buy art. It's just that you should buy it for different reasons than financial investment or being generally kind of showy.

Being able to surround yourself with artwork you have truly and fully fallen in love with is a luxury. You are gifting yourself the pleasure of living with art that you find great. It doesn't have to be expensive and it doesn't have to be famous.

As an artist and art enthusiast, I must tell you ordinary people like us play a crucial role in the future of art. With AI taking over and it becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between artwork create by humans or AI, it is us who decide which artists will continue with their creative path and have the support they need to grow. Collectors play a crucial role in preserving art for the future and therefore influence the way the history of art is written. This shouldn't be in the hands of the rich and famous, because we already know they can't be trusted with such responsibilities!

If you've never purchased a piece of original art before, I hope that you experience what Thomas Hoving was talking about. And if you have experienced it but you DIDN'T buy it, you should probably get to it before someone else does, and don't worry if it doesn't match your colour scheme. Walls can be painted by pretty much anyone. 😉

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