How to

Here’s how to buy art that will hang in your home forever

Buying art can be one of the most difficult parts of decorating a home. It is an object of permanence, difficult to change when tastes change, and often an expensive object: original works often require a financial investment. Then there’s the assumption that you must have the necessary knowledge to select the ‘right’ piece, reinforced by the potentially intimidating environments of galleries or convention center art fairs. All in all – it’s hard Not feel intimidated by the process. “Sometimes you feel a bit left out of art,” admits Kate Bryan, collections director at Soho House.

Yet when done right, framed pictures can be the most rewarding pieces in your home, whether it’s a decorative accent that acts as a conversation piece or a work that will become a generational heirloom. In this sense, Fashion asked Bryan, who selects and curates art for Creative Members Club outposts around the world on how to select works that will hang in your home forever. Read all of her tips below.

Build a relationship with the artist

“If you’re just an independent individual acquiring artworks, it’s really exciting to build a relationship with an artist and turn that artist into someone that you might have had a conversation with or follow on Instagram. These are not products and goods like other things you buy. You’re buying a little bit of someone’s soul – not to sound too cheesy, but you are. You’re the custodian of something very special, so it’s nice to be in touch with the artist in any way you can.”

Don’t be intimidated to ask all the obvious questions (including how much is it)

“Ask the people in the cabin how much it costs. Ask what stage artists are on in their careers. Ask them anything – don’t be embarrassed, that’s their job! The Artists want to talk about their work. Say, “Hey, I just checked out this play, can you tell me a little bit about it? How old is the artist? Where are they stationed?’ Learn absolutely everything you can.”

Find out the artist’s point of view – and if you relate to it

“I’m always looking for someone with a very distinctive voice. The thing about art is that it should never be a lot of work – an artist makes art because it’s the easiest way for them to get their point across. (And there is always a point of view.) You want to be able to say, “Okay, I see where you’re coming from.”

Focus on one emotion in particular: excitement

“When you’re in a room, you have to look at things that really excite you — skip the things that confuse or frustrate you. If you do, you will cherish it forever.”

Forget the market

“If everyone says, ‘This is the hottest artist in town,’ great, but that’s not necessarily going to resonate with you across the board. They don’t want to buy something because it’s a product or a commodity. Instead, think about it: How does this make me feel? How will I feel living with this piece in my home? How will I feel when I talk about this with my friends and family? What do I believe in this artist? What connects you to this piece?”


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