Why Collect Art?
In all honesty, if I were to list all the reasons to collect art I might bore you with a 10-page essay. Rather than head down the road of losing you as an audience, I prefer to hit some of the key aspects as to what makes art special and why every house transforms into a home the day your collection begins.
Art is communication. Before there was scripture there was art. Art can be dated back to the time when Neanderthals lived in caves. The walls of caves were decorated in finger paintings as a way to tell stories, communicate accomplishments, track weather patterns, depict the surrounding environment and more.
Art is history. One way in which we can understand history is through art. Prior to photography, art was really the only format to tell a story without the need or ability to read words/scripture. From art we obtain an understanding of the events, attitudes, clothing and hierarchy systems of the past. When we look at contemporary art, such as abstract art, the art does not necessarily offer us simple details of environment or events, however, it elicits a sense of understanding or emotion of what is going on during the time of the works creation, or furthermore what is going on in the artist’s life.
Art is culture. Art is a cardinal part of a nation’s identity or even an individual’s essence. From art we are able to see the separation or differences of each individual culture. The aboriginals of Australia create art in a completely different fashion compared to that of the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest. The value system is different, the available resources to create art were distinctive and the overall message is one that each culture cherishes and holds closely to their sense of being.
Art is emotion. When your mind and heart open up to the emotion of art, the soul transforms. I have literally seen people gaze upon a specific work and break down in tears. There is a strong connection with the viewer and the artwork. Art itself is nothing without a viewer. As Jeff Koons says, “Art is inside us.” The message and emotion art creates must involve a viewer to feel it. When you find a work you enjoy, I recommend you stop, admire the piece from different angles, contemplate what the art is communicating to you and feel it. What emotion(s) are you sensing? Think about the artist, when was the work created, what was happening politically/socially at that time? What do you think the artist was feeling when they created this piece?
The world we live in is chaotic and taking 30 seconds to simply stop, relax and sense a work of art is pure nourishment for the soul.
Art is decorative. The most common use for art is decoration. It brings life to the walls in which it hangs. Art adds color and balance to a room. Bare walls are like a dry wasteland just waiting to evolve into a euphoric paradise.
Art is valuable. In the volatile economy and market of today, savvy investors are parking their savings in hard assets such as precious metals, real estate and fine art. I believe this is one of the main reasons why, in a tough economy, the art market continues to thrive. Bear in mind that the art market is incredibly illiquid so never treat art as a way to buy, flip and make a profit. That is incredibly tough unless you are a seasoned art professional. However, art does have tremendous value for all the reasons listed here regardless if the market states your work is worth more than what you paid for it.
Art is powerful. Great artwork is like a brilliant performance by an actor. It moves you. There is an essence of power that gravitates towards the centre of your being and you feel a spellbinding sensation. Personally, I get this feeling when I analyze the intricate work of a Rembrandt etching. I am speechless; the only word that comes to mind has 3 letters, “Wow.”
Art is for everyone. You do not need an art degree or a background in art to appreciate what you see. Art does not discriminate. Art does not care if you are young, old, married, single, gay, straight, rich, poor, male, female, white, black, or rainbow. Art does not ask that you fall in love with it or get upset if you despise it. All art needs is your viewership.
It is no wonder that individuals, businesses, corporations, municipalities, galleries, organizations, governments and homeowners take so much pride in their collections. Art is a statement of who we are. It embodies all that is listed above and brings richness to your environment. A home without art is like a stadium without people – empty. A world without art is a world without communication.
Paul Erik Becker
love your collection – evolve your collection