There are other ways to feel confident about purchasing art and art furnishings, so we’ve thought about our favorite and tidied it up into a mental checklist you can reference in any gallery or showroom. For every piece of art and art furnishing that piques your interest, try this:
- Describe the very first impression the piece has on you. What words come to mind? There’s no right or wrong here -- just let the thoughts flow.
- Describe the imagery of the piece. What exactly do you see? For example, to one person, a certain scene in a painting may look like a sunset, but to you, it may appear to be fire. Remember that you can often see emotions in art, just as you can hear them in music. Look for these, too.
- Now, you can analyze. Break the piece down into elements and analyze them separately. Consider color -- do the colors in this work symbolize something? Consider forms -- are they life-like or abstract? Commonplace or fantastical? Consider balance, contrast, movement and rhythm -- how do these qualities stand alone? How do they influence each other or work together?
- It’s time to interpret the piece. Based on your experiences and personality, what does this piece mean to you? What was the artist aiming to express? Why did they create this piece at all? The better you know an artist’s work and his or her “story,” the better you can understand and appreciate the meaning of each work.
- Decision time! Think back briefly on your responses at each step: What’s your judgment? Should you buy it? Will you?