Archive for January 3rd, 2010

First Time

I received an e-mail this morning from a person who was looking to obtain her first painting and was asking for some advice on where and how to buy.  This is an e-mail I receive quite often and I’m always particularly interested in the first-time collector.  There is something very exciting in that first acquisition, for them and for me as well.

For the would-be collector, there is that first flush of excitement in finding something original that really strikes a chord within them, that triggers some emotional response in them unlike any time before.  A response strong enough to make them willing to make a leap of faith based on their own subjective view of a piece of art and spend more money than they normally would on something for just themselves. With this excitement there’s also a bit of fear mixed in.  They’re doing something they’ve never done before and they afraid of making a mistake, afraid of turning this initial giddiness of discovery into an event of regret.  It’s a big, scary step into a world that seems foreign to them.

I understand that all too well.  Maybe that’s why I find first-time collectors so appealing.  I really like the idea of de-mystifying the process of art buying and letting people know they have nothing to fear in most galleries.  They see the art galleries as dens of snobs and elitists, a place where their choices will be belittled or mocked for a lack of knowledge.  In fact, there is truly no right or wrong in choosing a piece of art nor is there any secret knowledge required.  If you like something, you like it.  If you don’t, you don’t.  My response to people who say, embarrassed,  that they don’t know anything about art is to say , “Well, you know what you like and what you don’t.  What more do you need to know?”

All that’s needed is the courage to take that small leap.

For me, I am drawn to this leap they’re willing to make.  I know when they take that first piece into their home, it will mean something very special to them even if they go on to obtain more art in the future, especially if it takes a sacrifice of sorts to get that first painting.   And if it is the only piece they ever buy, it will maintain a place of honor in their home.

And that’s all an artist can ask for his work- an audience that will continue to enjoy their work for years to come.

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