Why We Buy Art
People who buy art general fall into one of 5 categories. Collectors, Investors, Status Seekers, Interior Designers and Immediate Needs. Collectors can be anyone who loves the process of finding, purchasing and displaying the art they love. It can be a $50 print of $50 million original artwork, depending on the collectors budget. They love all the aspects that motivate the 'collecting' passion. The thrill of the hunt, finding treasures and displaying the final prize. What drives them could be the personal impact of the work, the genre, the artist, active involvement in the arts community or several other factors.
Investors see art as an asset that can be purchased for a lower price than they believe its future value might be. As an investment, the returns on art can be very rewarding. Investment art is usually narrowed down to investing in a well-known artist who has already commanded premium prices over what the work had initially been sold for. To be a successful art investor, as with any investment strategy, you need to have an intimate knowledge of the market and understand fundamental art investment principles. Recently, art investment companies have developed that trade 'shares' in specific high-value artworks. Like buying shares in a company for long term value growth, it is now possible to own shares in a multi-million dollar artwork.
Status seekers love the notoriety of owning either exclusive works or works that make bold or controversial statements. Art can be a great way to display your wealth or status, which is reflected in the fact that 83% of millionaires and billionaires own art collections. Interior designers are also very prominent purchasers of art. Art has a way of taking the spaces in which we live and enhancing the visual language within them. If you have ever walked into a room and been taken aback by a beautiful artwork within the space, you know what I mean. Often the artwork is the first thing to catch your eye. Interior designers know that having great art within a room elevates the space to a whole new level of aesthetic impact.
The last group is the immediate purchaser. They are someone who has a space, be it a home or office and want to make it their own. Art is an excellent statement of individuality and ownership. For reasons similar to the status seeker and the interior designer, the immediate purchaser knows that art can play a fundamental role in enriching a space. It can elevate it from somewhere where you just live or work to somewhere that intimately speaks to who you are.
No matter what category you fall into, art is ultimately a reward. You get to share an artist's individual creativity. The freedom of expression, perspective, craft, technical ability, viewpoint, aesthetic, composition and themes all interplay into a piece of human expression that somehow, in some way, speaks to you. That is why we are attracted to any of the arts, be it visual art, literary art or music. Innately we understand there is something deeper to our human consciousness, and art is one of the few areas we get to experience that. The artist is our guide to a deeper level of concepts, thoughts and introspection. The language they use is theirs, but sometimes, it also speaks to us. We get to recognise something richer we can share in and that our day to day lives may not usually reveal.