Why Buy Original Art?

According to the art dealers at New York’s Agora Gallery, one of the best ways to establish the personality of a room is by decorating its walls with art.

While furniture stores and big-box retailers sell mass-produced wall decorations, what are you really getting at these stores? The answer: not much.

Original art is one-of-a-kind; its opposite is a reproduction (a print or poster, manufactured in larger quantities by a machine). Original art is typically far more expensive than reproductions. There are three main reasons why original art is more expensive than mass-produced reproductions.

One is scarcity. Its one-of-a-kind nature makes original art a “rarity.” Like you, there are no other versions of this artwork out there. For the right to have the only”living” version of an artwork, you have to pay more.

Two is ease. When you mass-produce an artwork, you can set up a large printer to manufacture many copies at once. But original artwork takes a lot more time. The artist may spend hours, days, months, and sometimes, years, to produce the final product. Because of how difficult and time-consuming that artwork was to create, the artist needs to charge more money, in order to earn a liveable wage.

Three is quality. In order to be easily produced in large quantities, the quality of prints and reproductions suffer. There are no affordable technologies that can layer oil paints in a beautifully textured, delicate way upon the canvas. For this reason, prints and other reproductions will be made using less expensive materials, creating a much “flatter” look than original fine art. Original fine art is hand-crafted by an artist, ensuring a finer, more carefully perfected quality.

Where should you buy original art? The average person is not a multi-millionaire art collector. But a best-kept secret about buying art is that you don’t need to be a millionaire to afford original, high-quality artwork. Many galleries offer some artwork for more affordable prices. You can also find discounted treasures at art fairs, craft fairs, outdoor markets, by visiting artists’ studios, and by shopping on line.

Original art simply looks great. Original art is hand-produced, and every color is specifically chosen and hand-applied. Mass-produced reproductions use commercial inks instead of oil or acrylic paints, and they are printed by machines. Sometimes, your mass-produced artwork will look pixelated or digitally rendered when you look closely at it. Originals never have that risk, and even the most amateur art lover can tell the difference between an original artwork and a store-bought décor item.

Original art will also make your space your own. How often have you noticed the same Ikea artwork in several friends’ living rooms? Even if the artwork isn’t by a well-known artist, the originality of the piece evokes more of a sense of wealth and personality into your living space.

Original artworks have depth–literally. Whether gallery wrapped around stretcher bars or framed for protection, an original artwork will actually pop off the walls. Simply put, this depth will always fill a room more powerfully than a flat poster against a wall.

Original art also tells a story. There’s not much conversation value in “Oh, I bought this from Ikea.” However, when you buy original art, it’s often an adventure. Many times you may meet the artist in person, hear their story behind the artwork, and understand the feeling behind it. Or you might have seen it in an art gallery on a vacation. Because the process of buying original artwork is so different from buying mass-produced consumer artwork, you can usually expect to have a great story to tell at the end of it. Not only can these stories impress your guests, but they’ll also help forge deeper personal connections between you and the artwork you buy.

The higher quality looks, the originality, the depth, and the story behind the original artwork all add up to help create a strong emotional connection to the original artwork you end up buying. The sheer fact that original artwork can often cost more money means that you wouldn’t end up buying it unless you already felt a connection and attraction to this artwork. However, if you buy original art, you can ensure that your collection is made up of only the worthiest of pieces, and not impulse buys that cost little but waste your wall space with cheap designs that don’t truly speak to you.

One more great thing about buying artwork is that it can often appreciate in value. Unlike furniture or Pottery Barn statement pieces, artwork typically does not lose its value for having been pre-owned. Instead, if you invest smart, your artwork may be worth more after years hanging in your living room than it was worth when you first bought it.