Arts & Culture: Should You Buy a Work of Art Just Because a Certain Artist Painted It?
My answer has been, and always will be, the same - No! Never buy a work of art just for the artist's name. If the artist in question is one whose work you would like to own, then it is vital that you keep the following points in mind during your search. Every artist had their good and bad days (even the masters) and every artist has/had different styles and periods. Before you buy any work by an artist make sure you know as much as possible about their different styles and periods --- What are the different periods? At what point in their careers did their styles change? Was there a reason for the change? And most importantly what are the differences in the "look" of works done during the different phases and which are considered the best?
You should also bear in mind that within any artist's body of work, prices will vary not only by style or period, but also by size, quality, condition and subject matter. As a rule of thumb the earlier works from a particular period, those featuring the artist's signature (most popular) subject matter, are often the most expensive. But remember that, like everything else, there are exceptions to this rule.
Always buy a work that appeals to you, or as some people say ..."speaks to you." There is nothing worse than realizing, a few weeks after your purchase, that you got caught up in the need to get a work by a particular artist and that the work you acquired no longer interests to you - in other words, you no longer like it. Depending on where you purchased the piece this case of buyer's remorse could be a very expensive lesson.
I continue to stress that you do some research and, if possible, find a knowledgeable individual to guide you. However, regardless of how you choose to travel through the art world in the end make sure that, regardless of its cost and other people's opinions, you acquire on those pieces that will bring you great pleasure and hopefully years of enjoyment.
Howard L. Rehs
Rehs Galleries, Inc., New York City
Read the whole series
Buying Art the Basics Part 1
Buying Art the Basics Part 2
Buying Art the Basics Part 3
Buying Art the Basics Part 5