ABOUT WHY ART IS IMPORTANT
In the art world there is a special buzz at this time of the year. The reveal of collections by new artists at the graduate exhibitions in the country’s art colleges create an irresistible sense of excitement. These exhibitions form the content of the Autumn schedules at local galleries and give a hint at the new faces that will make up the art happenings in the year(s) to come.
I was recently invited to the preview evening of the CIT Crawford graduate exhibition ‘Dismantle’ and as I walked through the maze of rooms of the historic building filled with an array of contemporary artwork the perfect silence was only broken periodically by the distant sound of raucous cheers that rose from the prize giving that was taking place on the ground floor. It was lovely to experience that atmosphere of creativity and joy.
Later that weekend, I read an article in the Sunday papers about an upcoming auction in de Vere’s in Dublin. The article reported that it is expected that private buyers over corporate ones will snap up the gems of Irish art on offer. This was also exciting news as it signals a significant upturn in the art economy in Ireland. Great news for the new graduates as this can only bode well for their future prospects if they chose to continue to sell their work beyond the college walls.
These two things reminded me of a myth that I love to bust! It is often assumed that an art sale is most important if it is for a large sum. It is not untrue that what happens in the top end of the art market has an impact on the lower levels, as I referred to earlier. Art sales in a growing economy, like the current recovery happening here in Ireland, at the top end give a boost of confidence for those selling/buying at the lower levels. This isn’t exclusive to the art sector. It’s true of all consumer led sales. What is exclusive to the selling/buying of art though, and the myth I love to bust, is the price tag and the importance of the sale actually bare no correlation. Let me explain…
Art exists as a method of expression. It is a catalyst for emotions, statements and thoughts. It captures moments in time. An artist shares their perspective by creating their works. These works, in turn, make an impact on those that view them. As viewers, we like the art we like because it resonates with us in some way. We experience a sense of nostalgia, perhaps, or the work speaks to some feeling that we enjoy. When a viewer becomes a buyer they take that experience into their life and they share it with those around them. This is what makes art important. It’s about communication and conversation. That’s why, when a visitor to a graduate exhibition, a small gallery or a large auction house makes a purchase, each one is as important as the other. The amount they paid only has relevance to their bank balances.
So, the next time you meet an artwork you love don’t let the size of the price tag worry you too much (unless it takes you two credit cards to pay for it ..I speak from past personal experience..EEK! J) Remember that by making the purchase, no matter the size, you are supporting the artist who created it not just in practical terms but also by responding to what they have created and you are expressing a part of yourself by displaying it in your home. Be important, buy art!
If you would like advice on buying art; where to start, what to buy or where to buy it get in touch. I’d be delighted to help! CLICK HERE
If you are an artist looking to learn about selling your art; how to exhibit, how to present, how to price it. I can help! CLICK HERE