Sunday, August 30, 2009

Collectors Corner - Required Reading #1

This is the first of a series of links, articles, and essays directed at helping both new and seasoned collectors demystify the discussion about what Art is and what Art isn't. Over the years, I've noticed that people seem to repeat the same phrases when they talk about Art. "I don't know Art, but I know what I like." "My kid could do that." "Why don't artists make things that people LIKE?"

Not that I think their is anything wrong with those statements. It's just that after meeting and working with hundreds of Artists, I've never once heard of one seriously trying to pull a fast one and con an unsuspecting patron into believing something they've made is really "Art". Rather, there is usually a very good reason that the artist has chosen a subject matter, media, or style (even if the artist himself isn't very good at expressing that reason in words).

Appreciating Art doesn't have to be complicated or difficult. And I don't believe that you need to have a degree in Art or Art History to start talking about Art. But, like most things in life, you only get out of it what you put into it. Your golf game won't get better if you don't hit the green on a regular basis, and your ability to appreciate the extremely diverse range of objects that we refer to as "Art" won't increase if you don't visit a gallery or museum every once in a while. For a quick (and fun) crash course, I highly recommend attending a First Fridays Art Walk in your local city. Monthly events like these give you an opportunity to see a lot in a short period of time, and to begin to follow individual artists as they build their careers. After a short period of time, when your friend says "Anyone Could Paint That", you'll have something something a little more interesting to add to the conversation than "Yup."

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