'A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind' so said Eugene Ionesco.
Buying art can be considered a journey. First you have to take the plunge, the first steps can be the most daunting!
It is important to ascertain what exactly you like as well as what you don't. It's a good idea to look at on-line galleries: affordable art and also more selective galleries such as the Tim Taylor Gallery, White Cube and the Gargosian. The later in particular exhibit a select number of high profile artists whose work can fetch considerable sums. They are also a reflection of current trends; what art is commercially popular with prominent collectors.
Also worth looking at are articles in magazines and newspapers - Time Out advertises popular art shows, art fairs and a variety of arts events. Other publications that are also of interest are Apollo Magazine and the Financial Time-How To Spend It;. The latter two may offer a different selection of artwork and opinion, which is worth noting.
(Also, in the past there have been articles by leading art dealers on buying artwork. I think in particular of an article a short while ago concerning Charles Miller a Martine art dealer who is noted for selling a flag from a British battles ship from the Battle of Trafalgar.
His opinions on what maritime art sells and is popular with collectors were interesting and insightful. Particularly to someone with no knowledge and keen to learn more about the subject.)
Always bear in mind when looking at art how it makes you feel and why – it is important, when considering buying to establish what it is that you do and don't like- there is nothing wrong with an artwork not appealing to you.
If anything, is demonstrates you are developing a discriminating eye!
Returning to what art is currently popular, what sells and appears most in publications. It is important to be aware of this. Certain artists can be very popular and of the moment. If is important to appreciate this, it may be that they can be extremely popular at the moment and not so, say in a decade – bear this in mind if you are considering buying art as an investment.
The flip-side of this is that if you choose to buy artwork by a newly graduated artist or an emerging artist, their work will undoubtedly increase in value sharply from the time of graduation until the first few years of being a working artist.
It may be that one of the emerging artists out there is the next David Hockney, Lucien Freud to name a handful of dazzling names from the art world.
Despite all the factors that influence the potential buyer: speculation of art market value, fashion and what is currently popular versus what may be popular in several years time. Arguably the most important issue is whether you like the artwork – is it something that you could or would hang on your study wall and can look at day in day out for years to come. That you can look at it and loose yourself in the composition or see something different and interesting every time. I think this is by far the most important factor when buying a piece of artwork.
Vladimir Nabokov stated: A work of art has no importance whatever to society. It is only important to the individual best sums up my advice to anyone wishing to buy.