This blog may interest you if you are new to the world of art and wish to add and artistic touch to your home or office. If you are already a collector, it is not for you. You perhaps know already.
Here are some general tips for a common person. Remember, art is a personal matter, there are no universal rules. In your situation, or in some one else’s opinion, there could be huge variations from my thoughts. Let me still tell you what I think.
1. How much art?
In a typical home, around 5 paintings (no hard and fast rule though) for every medium sized room would add sufficient colour, sophistication, and an artistic identity to your personality. So if you have a home with 3 bedrooms, one living area, and a dining area, you could aim at having around 25 pieces of art on your walls. Well, not all of it right away. You could acquire over a period of 3 years, giving yourself time to think, to get feedback from visitors, and explore. For larger rooms one could go for 7-10 or more pieces of art. In some homes, in just one living room, I have seen as many as 20 pieces of art on walls, leave aside the sculptures on floor; and several more paintings in other rooms.
2. What art?
Essentially one goes for paintings/wall hangings (2D art) for the walls, and sculptures (3D art) for floors/tables. Since floor space is at premium, one ends up acquiring more paintings than sculptures in a home or office. Some sculptures do go beautifully on walls (even the exposed walls) or in verandahs, or in home gardens as well. Do take opinion of others but finally buy a painting or sculpture that brings you happy, mood uplifting feeling; adding colour, visual harmony and becoming part of your overall decor. You should feel like seeing it again and again. And mind you, art would reflect your personality. So be careful.
3. Don’t buy art as investment.
You are obviously not in the business (buying and selling) of art. I would strongly advise you not to even think of appreciation of value, although it may happen in course of time. If you are investment minded, I am not the right person to advise. Go to an art consultant…at your own peril.
4. What size?
Don’t buy the same size again and again. It becomes monotonous and does not lend scope for creative composition on walls. Go for some small, some medium and some big pieces to make interesting compositions in your home. Different formats in themselves-some vertical, some horizontal, and some square-would really impart artistic flavour in themselves. Select size and shape in appropriate manner so as not to make them overpowering, nor minuscule to the point of not being noticeable.
Big pieces of art reflect your bold personality, and there is nothing wrong with that. You are just being different.
5. What style?
This is your personal choice but going for a mix of realistic, abstract, figurative, portraiture, etc. is worth attempting. Don’t make it monotonous. Bring some element of variation. Of course, there is nothing wrong with staying with one style if that is your strong choice and personality statement.
6. Which medium?
All mediums, be it Oil, Acrylic, Watercolour, Charcoal, or whatever, are reasonably long lasting; unless kept in direct sun and moisture. If the art is on paper, make sure it is on acid free paper such as Arches of France, Fabriano of Italy, and so on.
7. Which artist?
You are not an art collector. You are just a common person, wanting to brighten up home or the office. So, big and expensive names are not relevant to you. Big names come at big price in any case. Having said this, go for art that you like and can afford. A prolific artist who paints regularly, rather than a casual inactive artist, is a good choice. Artist having good/active website, good testimonials, good number of shows and recognitions, good past sales (may be difficult to guess), makes a good choice if you like the work.
8. What price?
Price of paintings (generally speaking) of most artists is based on its size, meaning the area. Per square foot price of around Rs. 10,000 (USD 150) and upwards for good upcoming artists is reasonable. More experienced artists would be priced something like Rs. 50,000 and upwards per square foot. Very senior, well known, and master category artists would cost several times this figure.
9. Mass produced v/s unique.
Mass produced art does not lend sophistication. Unique art does. The former is cheap in price as well as impression. Limited famous artist editions-signed by the artists such as Picasso, Souza, Raza, Hussain etc.-make good affordable choice though. Same thing holds good for limited edition sculptures. Unique are expensive. Limited editions are affordable. Mass produced (available in Home Centre, Amazon, Ikea Stores, cheap art stores, and with framers etc.) are cheap, but reflect low.
Good elegant distortion free framing, proper hanging harness, signature of artist on front or back, certificate of authenticity signed by the artist, authentic provenance (chronological names of hands that the art has changed), all make good peripherals of an art.
11. Where to buy?
Reputed online (Saatchi, Mojarto etc.) galleries, or physical galleries, reputed art fairs, art shows of artists in reputed galleries, online sale websites of trustworthy artists, auctions of reputed online galleries (saffronart etc.) and references from friends, make good source for buying art. No-questions-asked returns policy is an added comfort.
12. Where to hang?
When you have just a few pieces of art, placing middle of the painting around the eye level makes sense. Can be little below or little above, but not too much. When you have collected many pieces of art it would be quite appropriate (no choice really) to hang with entire frame above (and some times below) the eye level. Similar sized pieces of similar appearance, hung side by side, make interesting composition. One big and 2 small by the side also look interesting. If you have bought some pieces as visual set (diptych, triptych etc.) , it would be best to place those together or in vicinity to convey a point. Here are some interesting hanging layouts.
13. Where else art?
Well, one may be surprised. Art can be placed in bathrooms, in passages, in sit outs, and entrances. Be careful about the medium and placement. Avoid Oil and Watercolors in bathrooms as moisture, over a long period, would cause damage. Acrylic paintings are fine here. In open spaces, make sure there are no direct sun-rays on any medium of art except the sculptures. Actually even in closed spaces, draw curtains during those times of the day when sun -rays, coming thru windows and doors, fall on the paintings.
I would end by saying, add art to your life. It brings happiness and sophistication. It is one way of making a statement about yourself. Mind you, most people can afford it, it is only a question of making up one’s mind. Go in steps but do take the first step if not taken already.
I will be happy to entertain questions and also receive comments. Please click on the tab Leave comment on the top of this blog.
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