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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 12: Andy Warhols portrait of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong, sold by billionaire money manager Steven A. Cohen, which fetched $47.5 million is seen during the Sotheby's evening sale of contemporary artworks in New York on November 12, 2015. (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Art Culture

Culture: What You Need to Know Before You Start Buying Art


January 27, 2019

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Whether you go for a photo print, painting or etching there’s an awful lot of pleasure to be had from buying and owning pieces of art, and with pieces priced across the board the cost doesn’t have to be an issue. Regardless, for the first time buyer the art world can be at best mysterious, at worse, intimidating, but there’s no need to miss out on dipping your toe in the water. Here we look at some important things to know about before you get started, which should help lead to that first amazing purchase.

Buy something because you really like it

Few people make a fortune from buying and selling art pieces, so go for something you will enjoy having around your own home or office. If you come across something you really can’t live without created by an unknown or just emerging artist it’s a better choice than choosing something you are not so keen on but has a better-known name on it.

Expose yourself to lots of art

This is especially useful if you are not sure exactly what style of art you are most keen on. Visit local art galleries and museums, and look out for exhibitions by local artists too. Instagram has a lot of artists on it too, so take a look there and follow those whose work you find interesting. The bonus here is that you will hear about their exhibition dates and locations first-hand.

Learn how it has changed over the years by having a read of this article on 9 Mousai.

Avoid art auctions

It’s very easy to get carried away and could easily lead to a much bigger investment than you planned. Instead look to buy at venues like art fairs, galleries, exhibitions, or even online sales sites. (Proceed with caution if you are planning to buy an expensive piece, or anything by a famous/up-and-coming artist online as the chances of it being fake, are always going to be higher. Buying from a reputable seller on a secure site is a better option if you really want to proceed with an online purchase.)

Set a budget

You may need to revise it if everything you really like is over the limit you have in mind, but before you do that make sure to research the average prices things similar to the pieces you like generally get sold for, to check you are not falling victim to some rabid overpricing. If you can’t decide whether the price is fair ask a friend who is into art for advice and guidance. Plus there’s always the option of trying to do a deal with the artist or art dealer.

Not all art is expensive

Photographs are often cheaper than paintings, and of course prints are going to cost less than an original. You can avoid the cost of framing by choosing pieces painted onto canvas.

Be patient

There’s no rush to buy your first piece of art, taking your time will avoid the risk of making an expensive mistake. These handy tips should help guide you towards making a great decision when you buy your first piece of art.

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