Why Collect Original Artwork?

As an artist, I find it frustrating that most folks think that collecting original art is an activity solely reserved for the rich and the art connoisseurs. Price is of course an issue, especially when masters sell for millions of dollars at auction. Yet, there is plenty of artwork, from emerging and mid career artists, which is within everyone’s financial means. So why is there still hesitation?
I would like to propose 10 simple reasons why anybody can and should collect original art, as opposed to buying mass-produced reproductions or posters:
1. The first reason is quite obvious: the art is original. That means that no one you know – not your friends, not your family and not your co-workers – will have the same piece in their home. You can feel as if you are truly expressing your individuality… and avoid the *I’m wearing the same dress as the hostess* moment.
2. The artwork can in itself be a conversation starter when you entertain in your home. You and your guests can discuss where you purchase the work, what it means to you, who the artist is. You may discover that your friends and family have yet untapped topics of conversation.
3. Original art will be a heirloom that you can pass on to your children: unlike a cheap poster, artwork is meant to last, and future generations can enjoy your art and remember you and who you were through your art collection.
4. Artwork will likely keep or increase in value over time. You may not discover the next Van Gogh every time you purchase a piece, but you can at least feel that the work is holding its original value, unlike a reproduction which basically will hold none.
5. Artists in general want to see their work in galleries or museums, so they work are constructed to be archival: they use materials that will not yellow or deteriorate with time. Most manufactured goods such as posters will not survive the test of time.
6. Point number 6 brings a loftier idea: by supporting emerging and mid career artists, you are supporting your very own cultural heritage and contributing to the health of your own culture and society.
7. You will often hear folks say that they know nothing about art, and therefore they shy away from buying it. The only qualifications you need to buy art is this: you like it and it speaks to you. By buying original art, you broaden your horizons and define more and more who you are, and what your tastes are, regardless of what mass culture is trying to sell you.
8. Collecting original art will also make you look at the world differently: artists tend to portray the world around us through their own lens, which might be very different from what you know or what you are used to. Artwork can make you look at what’s around you differently and open your eyes to new possibilities
9. Original art is also better for the environment. Most artists do not mass produce. Art is slow, and is made lovingly one piece at a time. So you can feel good about buying something that is not destroying the planet
10. And finally: art is for everyone! The art world is not an exclusive club that requires an advanced degree or a fat wallet! Artists are speaking to you!