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Art Collector

Exploring the Significance of a Work of Art

When you are buying art for your collection, it is vital that you get familiar with the artwork. The first step in getting closely acquainted with a beautiful piece is to compare it to other works by the same artist. Do your research by searching for the artist online, in catalogs, or in person. By knowing the full range of the artist’s work you will better understand the piece you are interested in. This is the very reason behind solo shows held by galleries; the morepieces buyers can see, the better informed they will be about the artist.    

Look Carefully, and Look Again

The second step is to carefully inspect the artwork you are interested in. Don’t just look at the picture, but explore the front, the back, sides, edges, dates, signatures, labels, construction, frames, and anything else you can find. This can turn out to be a fascinating exercise while also giving insight into the piece. Here are a few other things to consider:   1. Originality Ask if the art is original or mechanically reproduced. This is particularly important when it comes to limited edition prints because many are just digital reproductions done by commercial companies, and not the artist.   2. Major or Minor Find out whether the work is considered ‘major’ or ‘minor’. The more complex and labor-intensive the work is, the more valuable, expensive, and collectible it should be.   3. Is It Typical or Not?  
Artworks that are created with the artist’s usual medium, style, and size are considered typical pieces. Experimental pieces are known as atypical. These works are only for the discerning collector who wants every possible piece created by the artist. Typical art is usually worth more.   4. Which Period Is the Piece From? Artists go through phases and some of the periods are better than others. Learn what this means for your favourite artists and how it affects the art you are interested in.   5. Is It Unique? Determine whether the artwork has original qualities or whether it is a remake of other styles that have been produced over and over again.   6. Check the Condition Finally, it is imperative that you check the condition of the art and the materials it was created with. It is pointless spending money on something that has a limited shelf-life.

Personal Significance

After carefully considering how important the artwork is in the art world, also consider how important it is to you personally. If the work moves you in some way, and it is good quality, it is probably worth purchasing for your personal collection.