When contemplating art one naturally thinks of great artists such as Picasso, Monet or Matisse. One might consider contemproary artists who are at their peak and in the news. Damien Hirst perhaps or Tracey Emin. All of these are worthwile and while originals will be only atainable by the very rich reproductions are readily available.
So why buy original art?
The answer lies in the nature of fame. The mass media and technology allow the production of practically identical replicas creating a “winner take all” society. A society in which Michael Jackson is a global star while a performer of comparable ability may be unknown.
While not necessarily wrong this is not a true representation of art. An artwork’s merit is not a function of the artist’s fame. Picasso was influenced by suposedly primitive art yet his work is worth millions and the primitive art work is practically worthless.
It would be presumtious to define art but any definition must recognise that art is a cultural phenomena. Art is like a river running through society. Art draws influence from everyone and everyone is influenced by art. The work of Picasso cannot be divorced from his environment. Rather his work is embedded in his environement.
When one buys a reproduction one obtains a great work but limits oneself to that layer of art which the establishment deems great. When one buys an original one throws off this limitation.
By collecting orignal art one makes a personal statment and contributes to art as a whole.
The criteria for collecting orignal art is simple:
Does the art work for you?