Author: Grace Kendall

Building an Art Collection

“Art is the uniting of the subjective with the objective, of nature with nature, of the unconscious with the conscious, and therefore art is the highest means of knowledge.” - Leo Tolstoy 

The beauty of starting or building upon an art collection is you can be your own curator. There are no rules. You can do whatever you want in your own space. You don’t have to know anything about art to create your perfect collection. Check out our tips for building an art collection.

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Figuring out what you like

First things first, when you buy art for your home you have to like it since you will see and live with it everyday. Before you start your art collection, try figuring out what you like and what you don’t like. Trips to exhibitions, art fairs, auctions, and galleries can help in this process. Browsing through social media pages of artists, curators, and critics can help influence your preferences. Consider which styles, subjects, and mediums you prefer and work from there.

Find a connection

Consider central themes or feelings you want to explore when you start to build the art collection. Assess how and through what means you want to connect to your new collection. Nostalgia is a central feeling many people centre their art collections around. If you are more drawn to artworks that bring back personal memories, search for specific affiliations with your memories: places, subjects, or moods. Another thing to recognise is if you want your interior space and art collection to tell a story, determine what kind of story that would be and search for art that complements your vision. Your art collection can also act as an extension of your personality, so incorporate pieces that show who you are. 

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Consider your space

When choosing an artwork, consider the space you want to fill - Is it a transitional space such as a hallway? A focal point like above a fireplace? Oftentimes the artwork in your bathroom will differ from the artwork above your bed. That being said, once you purchase your new artwork, you can play around with where you want to put it. Other considerations for your specific space could include colour scheme and the mixture of textures and materials.  Also, note the colour of your walls could affect the mood and shape of your space, so finding artwork that complements your wall colour scheme is another factor in deciding what fits into your collection. 

Think about the versatility of your new artwork: can it work in other rooms? After a few months with your new artwork, you can rehang and change where it is positioned in your house to refresh your space and see the art in a new way. 

Once you’ve established where you want your new art, consider how many pieces you want and what the difference between many artworks in one place versus a few would make your space feel like. Check out our article on How to pick the right artwork for your space for more help.

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Inspect the details: they matter

As you begin to narrow down your preferences when buying artwork, consider the smaller details. Divide the details into non-negotiables and aspects you value, but will not determine if you buy an artwork or not. An example of a non-negotiable could be dimensions, if you have a small space or wall, you cannot purchase art that will exceed your space. Things you might value, but are not essential could be provenance (if buying from our secondary market) or aspects such as edition number, artist signature, or a certificate of authenticity. Once you determine which details you value, choosing the art for your new collection will be much easier. 

Trust your instincts: You’ve gotta love it

Trends die, but your instincts never do - trust your gut when deciding which artworks you want in your home. You know what art would work best in your space and fit your collection goals. Additionally, deep down you know if you like an artwork or not. Curating your space and developing an art collection will take time and lots of patience, but will be so worth it.

At Art Republic we believe art should be accessible, so if you have trouble in starting or building upon your art collection, we’re here to help.

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