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Do I Need Art in My Life? :: Seven Reasons Why The Answer is Yes!

by Alexander Salazar
Sunday Mar 30, 2014
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As a youngster I would trade bubble gum with my friends in elementary school if they would draw me a picture of Mickey Mouse. I think that this might have been the point when I realized I was an art collector... and gay, of course.

More importantly, it’s what I felt when I received the trade. At the very moment that I had the drawing in my possession, I was filled with joy.

I have been asked "Do I need art in my life?" I realize now that it’s not a question about me but more about you, the reader. I cannot totally answer the question for you, but I can offer you some suggestions and seven strong reasons that art (specifically paintings and sculpture) should be part of your life. If they’re not, then you need to get on it!

1) ART BUYING IS DIFFERENT THAN ART COLLECTING: I have two types of buyers in my gallery - a person looking for something to match his or her sofa, and someone looking to collect something he or she loves. For business purposes, I love them both because they keep my doors open. Emotionally, I get really excited about the lovers of art. My Harvard degree in theology and art kicks in when I see the reaction in their eyes when they step in front of a painting that speaks to them.

For that very reason, only buy art that you love - always - if it looks great over the sofa then think of it as a bonus. Consider that a work of art will be part of your life forever. You may change your sofa like you might change lovers, every three to five years - on average.

Art collecting usually involves a great deal of time and energy in order to discern what collectors are looking for. If they have seen a painting elsewhere and wish to find it locally then I turn into their advisor for locating the desired works. I also advise them regarding which artists are doing well in the market and why they should acquire now, rather than pay more later. Let me clarify something though: As fancy as this all sounds, everyone can be an art collector. And it does not require loads of cash to buy pieces that you love. Regardless of your budget, you can collect art.

TIP - Ask for payment arrangements and you will be surprised how many gal- leries and artists are willing to work with you.

2) PLACES TO BUY: These days art is everywhere; coffee shops, salons, spas, gyms, restaurants, even taco shops and, of course, galleries. What is most important about where you buy is really how you feel about the piece. People like to brag and say, "I bought this fabulous painting while I was in New York or Paris." That might seem to add value to the art. But in fact, it just sounds snobbish. A good art purchase is made when the money exchanged was worth the joy that the art purchase has brought to you. One of the most important pieces in my collection I purchased in a North Park bar for $500. A good deal? Not really, but a damn good investment in my quality of life because of the joy it has brought me.

3) SUPPORT LOCAL ARTISTS: When a local community supports artists by buying their art, they stay local. If they are not supported, they move to communities where art is better appreciated. I have seen many great artists move away because of this. Unlike art, it’s plain and simple: Buy from local artists!

4) BLUE CHIP ART: If you have a few million dollars to spend then I will be happy to tell you about this phenomenon of collecting. But you’ll have to schedule an appointment! Ha.

5) BUYING ART AS GIFTS: I never recommend buying art as a gift because art is such a personal choice. Consider a gift certificate from an artist or gallery as your choice so the recipient can select what they love. Otherwise your offering might end up in a closet, only making an appearance when you visit.

6) UNDERSTANDING THE VALUE OF ART: Prices will vary by artist. Marketing plays a big part in the valuation of art. Art galleries exist because they are in charge of marketing. Though currently, many artists are marketing themselves and having huge success.

TIP - Condition is very important so always ask for a condition report if you are not able to inspect your choices in person.

7) THE PRINT MARKET: In the ’90s the words "limited edition" made many artists very rich... and also lazy. The term confused new art buyers in that they mistakenly believed what they had was more than just a poster with numbers indicating the edition size and a signature.

I also want to point out that prints are created by publishing houses and not by the artists themselves - the artists merely signs them. Even the great masters have had limited editions, but it’s the size of the print run that matters (for lack of better term).

TIP - Ask for the full tirage of a limited edition when buying one. If it says 1/250 you might find out that an additional 250 were printed in another country, so in fact there are 500 copies. This is why you should buy original artwork!

Art is a reflection of yourself so look around your house and reflect on how you are represented through the art on your walls. Final Note - If you have any interest in buying your first work of art, I invite you to take me out to lunch.


Alexander Salazar Fine Art is located at 1040 7th Avenue in Downtown San Diego. To reach Alexander Salazar call 619.237.8813.

For more information on featured collections or to make an appointment, go to alexandersalazarfineart.com or whiteboxcontemporary.com

Copyright Rage Monthly. For more articles from Rage visit www.ragemonthly.com

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