Only buy art you'll love to live with
As an artist, it is considered gauche to speak of art in monetary terms. But I am also a lower echelon collector of art, meaning I am a person who doesn’t have large sums of money to spend on pieces I might wish to live with. I like to collect art from mid-20th century artists who were mostly regional, with a few being nationally known.
I didn’t start seriously thinking about collecting art until I hit my forties. I bought an oil painting by William Dickerson back then and love living with it. It was painted in the mid 50’s and has that magical depth I look for. Based on study, it’s more than tripled in value. And an Alex Katz print I bought in 2003 is worth five times what I paid for it. I mention these examples because I buy with the idea that I might resell at a profit later and purchase other more expensive works I yearn for. It’s how I navigate and justify this disease called “collecting”.
I found that I can buy regionalist works for less out and away from our region. I study online sites like ArtNet for possible deals. I have friends and family who hit estate sales and send me photos of what I might be interested in. I attend auctions. I studied a Milton Avery piece for 2 years until I had the money and it sold before I could grab it—a loss that haunts me.
My one rule is that I only purchase what I love and wish to live with. And whatever exists in this collection after I leave the planet will be passed to my children, who thankfully, love art as much as I do.