Your goal as an art collector is to educate your eye to identify esthetic significance and artistic merit so that you can select the finest works in their chosen fields. In the process of educating your eye, you will learn more about yourself and understand why you find certain pieces appealing and enjoyable.
Read art magazines; study the pictures and advertisements. Immerse yourself in the art world. Visit galleries and museums. Get on gallery mailing lists, go to opening receptions, meet and talk to artists about their work. You begin to educate your eye when you understand the artist’s aims and intentions for creating the artwork. In addition, understanding how and why the artist created the piece will make you appreciate and enjoy the artwork more.
Keep a journal with notes about what you like and don’t like. Factors to consider when studying a piece of artwork include the size of the piece, its subject matter or story, and how the different elements of the piece relate to each other. What is the artist’s viewpoint and how has he used color, perspective, light and shade, and why? What materials and surfaces have been used, and how do these contribute to the qualities of the finished work?
Slowly you will start to understand your taste and figure out why you like what you like. Your likes and dislikes will change as you begin to look at more and more art. You will also begin to gain the vocabulary to analyze what you see. As you educate your eye to identify artistic merit, you develop an informed sense of why you like some works of art more than others, the experience of looking at and collecting art will become more meaningful and enjoyable.
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