Wandering among museum masterpieces or exploring new galleries may tempt you to start your own art collection at home. Though it’s certainly a big project, you don’t need to be intimidated by the task.
Kevin Vogel, president of the acclaimed Valley House Gallery and Sculpture Garden in North Dallas, gives his advice on amassing art – no art degree required.
With work, life and kids, there’s not much time left over to pore over stacks of art history books. But, you don’t need to. Vogel says to venture out – go to the Dallas Museum of Art or wander around the Design District’s many galleries and find something that you connect with to help you find what your tastes are.
“Buying art should be an adventure,” Vogel says. “We’re in a period where time is limited for everyone, you can take Saturdays and wander the gallery scene. If nothing moves you, keep looking for what does.”
Fall in love
It’s an adage many art and design experts abide by. You want to connect with each piece you buy and carefully consider your purchase. After all, you want to buy something that you treasure for years to come.
“Art comes from the heart and soul. You have an investment in the artist’s energy,” Vogel says. “As an art dealer, the most wonderful thing I hear from my clients is that they connected with the art work. The art is talking to them, and they see something new every time.”
If you’re wandering art galleries, itching to fill your space with as many pieces as possible – think twice. Vogel says buying too much art at once never works out well.
“If you’re starting from scratch, don’t buy 15 pieces at once. The chances of it working are less,” Vogel says. “If you see a piece you absolutely love, and you know it’s going to work, then yes, absolutely buy. But, don’t just buy it instantly.”
Don’t focus on money
Buying art as a financial investment might not reap the benefits you’re seeking. Art experts say that almost all art never goes up in value. Further, Vogel says art is not a liquid asset – you can’t return your piece to the dealer and have them buy it back immediately. While art is an investment, it holds so much more meaning than a stock, Vogel says.
“Art is something that improves your environment. It uplifts you, or should,” Vogel says.
Travel with a focus
Touring distant cities is an ideal time to search for additions to your collection. The local artists and design tastes will be different to what you usually see. It’s a rare moment when you can take your time to explore the city and galleries with your spouse, Vogel says.
“A couple can relax, not worry about the car payment, the boat payment. And they can make decisions together,” Vogel says. “Now they have something that not only is a work of art, but it reminds them of a wonderful time together.”
Mix and match
Don’t be afraid of falling in love with pieces from different eras. A turn-of-the-century work and a modern piece can create an interesting contrast.
“I know people who have 18th century furniture and contemporary art on the wall. It’s a really fascinating dynamic, and what’s amazing to see is how well it goes together,” Vogel says.
Find new artists
Be on the lookout for new artists to inspire and update your collection. Vogel recommends visiting galleries, which use connoisseurs like him to curate and hone collections. And visit the graduate shows from Dallas’ universities to get a taste of what’s truly up and coming.
“People don’t have a lot of time to become an expert in the art world,” Vogel says. “They need to rely on experts to help them. Someone who’s a straight shooter will tell it like it is.”
Neutralize your space
As you grow your collection, keep your home neutral so swapping pieces from room to room or introducing new art into your home is easier.
“Most collectors, their houses are spare. When you walk into the living room, you don’t look at the furniture. You look at the art,” Vogel says.