Intro to Buying Art

No longer beyond reach, the notion of decorating your home with original pieces has never been more accessible to anyone with a passion for art.

So you’ve bought your home, painted the walls, and moved all your furniture in, but there’s still something missing. Then it hits you: you need a piece of art for your main living space, an accent piece that will draw visitors’ attention and tie the room’s different elements together.

Well, you’re in luck: as education levels rise and the middle class grows, younger and younger people are becoming interested in art either for personal or financial reasons, meaning that buying art is more popular than it’s ever been and, as a result, it’s never been easier.

The bad news is that most people think that doing so would be too expensive or just have no idea how to start. Let’s face it: not everyone’s a connoisseur, but Pursuit of Passion’s got your back. Here are some simple things to keep in mind while starting out.

Don’t Get Into It To Get Rich

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Looking to make money out of your art purchases is like going into a casino.

As is the case with buying property, artworks tend to appreciate in value, and there will always be a market for good art. However, as with the stock market, there is no set schedule for when any given piece will appreciate, especially when it comes to the works of recently popular artists.

While the 500-peso piece you’re admiring may appreciate faster than a 5,000-peso piece in the same gallery, it just as easily might not, making the entire practice of buying art for investment an act of guessing and speculation where you definitely want to be as educated as possible.

At the end of the day, the only true gauge of a painting’s worth is time, which will help you identify and separate actual trends from fads.

Do Research

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When buying artwork, it pays to do research on what you’re putting your money into.

This applies both to looking up which artists are popular as well as ensuring that you’re not picking up a counterfeit of some sort. Thankfully, most reputable galleries have websites now, allowing you to peruse their catalogues and read up on a given piece’s history before laying down money for it. When in doubt, seek out an expert or speak with more experienced collectors on who and what to watch out for.

In any case, making an informed decision is something you should do whenever you make any major purchase. After all, you wouldn’t want to find out later on that you overpaid for a copy of an original work.

One way to be sure about what you’re buying is to start by making inquiries at galleries and creative spaces where the people really know what they’re talking about, such as Artinformal, where the gallery owners themselves are often on-hand to answer any questions a first-time buyer might have. For those looking for a more immersive experience, you can try 1335 Mabini, which features local and international artists in addition to seminars and workshops. Another option is 98B COLLABoratory, an artist-run initiative and alternative space in the heart of Manila where creatives of all shapes and sizes converge and showcase their works.

Buy It Because You Like It

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Regardless of style, era, or artist, the most important thing to remember when buying art is to get something that you like.

Whether you have a budget of hundreds or hundreds of thousands, art experts generally agree that the primary reason for purchasing an original piece should be because it speaks to or appeals to you on some level. After all, even if you’re buying the artwork with the intention of selling it off later on, it may as well be something you don’t mind looking at.