What Makes Someone Choose a Piece of Art?
Aug 11, 2015
Art is uniquely personal, not only to the artist who creates it, but also to the person viewing it. Nowhere is this truer than with abstract art. Art is an extension - a reflection of - the viewer’s ideals, interests and aspirations. It allows them to mirror who they are as a person in a creative way. It has the ability to affect emotions; art can make a person feel happy, sad, angry or joyful whenever they look at it. It is because of this that many people may be ruled by their emotions more than any other reason when it comes to choosing a piece of artwork.
“The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke” - Jerzy Kosinski
Art as an Expression
A piece of artwork is like a mini rebellion, it permits the buyer to reflect the deepest parts of themselves and express their opinions, wants and emotions. Acting as a totem in this way allows a piece to become an expression of how one wishes to be viewed on the outside. Art invites the viewer to make their own interpretation, giving each piece a unique significance to every person who looks at it. Abstract art in particular is open to individual perception in a way that other, more representational, artwork is not. This openness and individuality is most often what appeals to people when purchasing a piece of artwork for their home.
“The position of the artist is humble. He is essentially a channel” - Piet Mondrian
Margaret Neill - Aviator, 2014. Oil on canvas. 40.7 x 45.8 cm.
Colour and Composition
When choosing artwork to adorn their walls, another popular consideration for many people is colour. Some may have a colour scheme in mind before beginning to peruse - they may seek a piece to complement the existing tones in their living room - or they could simply be drawn to the colours used by the artist on pure whim. Alternatively, many may be looking for a statement piece with which to build a room’s décor around.
Subject matter is acknowledged as a key consideration. According to a poll of art lovers, this is an important deciding factor when picking out a piece of art; with 62 per cent of the participants agreeing. The subject can speak to you on an emotional level – it invokes sentimentality particularly when a place, theme or object is involved.
Tracey Adams - Teach Us to Sit Still, 2017. Encaustic and oil on panel. 81.3 x 152.4 cm.
Love of Art
The artist themselves may play a part in the decision process; many people have favourite artists or painters and so enjoy collecting new pieces by them to add to their portfolio. Equally, some people relish being patrons, championing art and its creators. These collectors have an enduring passion for the arts and just want the artist to keep creating more work. In return, the collector is effectively permitted to ‘buy into’ a small piece of the artist’s life: their freedom, their creativity, and bring that into their own life and home.
“Don’t worry about whether you have enough spaces on your walls or the right place to put it. An art collector will always own more artwork than he can display on his walls!” - IdeelArt
Pierre Auville - Joe and Jack, 2013. Pigmented cement on foam panel. 60 x 104 x 6 cm.
Investment and Budget
Another reason for a person settling on a particular piece of artwork may be for its potential value. If it is being viewed from an investment perspective, then resale price could be an influence - although this decision is usually led by the buyer’s enjoyment of the work, first and foremost. Our advice: Art can be an investment, but this should only be secondary to pleasure.
Budget may play a role in the decision making process. Searching within a defined price bracket is a common reason for choosing one piece over another. That said, experts agree that as so many people buy art with their heart, rather than their head, price is less important. There are many factors to consider in the purchasing process, however, artwork is as unique as the individual buyer, and so there is no definitive answer to the question ‘what makes someone choose a piece of art?’. Ultimately, the final choice is up to the individual.
Featured image: Gina Werfel - Gesture, 2010, installation view. Oil on canvas. 122 x 122 cm.