By Enric Pastor.
We buy art so that we can surround ourselves by beauty, whether it be an investment or an addiction, enjoy the stories it tells, be struck with awe and simply delighted.
Although it can also feature for decorative purposes (if gallery owners and artists do not mind my saying so), buying art is not only about finding that “oil painting that matches the sofa” or “the bronze sculpture that fits in with the wallpaper”. Works of art have a life of their own, they live and breathe throughout your home like individual beings and we must fall in love with them because they talk to us, reel us in and tell us something about ourselves that we did not know or, even if we did, we would not be able to tell any better. If, on top of this, the work of art is also beautiful (subjectively-speaking of course), you are the owner of a true gem, or a treasure chest of gems. Art will always find its place, whether it be hung or propped up, or even projected (and you can of course also be enticed by video art). Its presence provides us with a comfort similar to that of a sofa.
Today it is hard to imagine a well-thought out interior design bereft of art. Works of art are not essential, they serve a purely emotional purpose, and although they are considered an expensive luxury, it is perfectly possible to start a small collection without spending a small fortune. Whatever your budget, the key is finding those special pieces that have a meaning for you and that speak to you.
According to Charles Saatchi, you can only be classed as an official art collector when you buy a piece of art that doesn’t fit in with your home and have to store it in the garage. The truth is on the walls: they’ll be the first to tell you if you have been bitten by the proverbial art bug. Entering this world requires effort, knowledge and strength of character. Effort and knowledge to define what you like (this is often highly changeable if you are an inquisitive person) and strength of character to be able to confront specialists and a complex language that does not make it easy to access.
However, collectors say that the most important thing is to learn how to see; the more you look at art, the more you will appreciate it. You shouldn’t think about whether it could be an investment, as that takes the fun out of it.
Focus on the emotion, on that particular feeling (happiness, curiosity or even peculiarity) that stays with you for hours after having admired a piece of art. Can we look for art that works in our homes? Of course, unless you are thinking of piling up all your purchases in a storage unit, like some of the world’s most renowned collectors; trying to strike that harmonious balance between your art and your furniture and ornaments is by no means trivial and should definitely be given careful thought. Renowned interior designers, such as Axel Verdvoordt and Luis Bustamante, integrate art into homes with both foresight and audacity. Visit art galleries and fairs, ask questions and talk to people, but most importantly, don’t be afraid (despite the sector’s reputation for only being for “qualified experts”). Visiting an art gallery is as pleasurable as going to the cinema. At home, works of art are like hand-picked poems that stay with you forever. Start planning an exhibition for your very own domestic MoMA.