Art Search 1: Buying my first original

I’ve been a fan of art for a long time. I’ve made art for a couple decades now. Nearly every wall in my home has some piece of art on it (some of it mine, some given to me, and some prints). And yet it only recently occurred to me that I have never purchased an original work of art.

Why not? I’m not really sure. Buying an original seems like a big investment, and not just financially speaking. What if I pick the wrong piece? What if the artist I choose isn’t really that talented? Will everyone who sees it think I’m crazy? Is it too pretentious to hang “real” art in my home?

I realize that these are stupid questions. If I like a piece of art and I feel it contributes to my home then it is a worthwhile purchase. Millions of Americans, myself included, have spent tens of thousands of dollars remodeling our homes. We feel empowered to choose the right kitchen backsplash tile, the right flooring style, the right paint colors and light fixtures. We spend thousands of dollars on pure aesthetics without giving it a second thought.

Anyway, I think the time has finally come. I’m going to buy my first original. My bank account is not exactly overflowing at the moment, but if I wait until I’m rich, well, I may be waiting a long time. I’m going to set a budget of $300 – I’ll try to compensate by spending a little less on Christmas presents this year. I’m open to paintings, drawings, sculpture… anything, really. I’ll chronicle my search in future posts, and feel free to make suggestions (including pitching your own art!) in the comments or on Twitter (@vailandyoung).

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