ART 101

Why is buying emerging art so significant?

Buying work from an up-and-coming artist supports their career at a pivotal time – it’s an endorsement outside of their immediate community and contributes towards establishing a market for their work. Most significantly of all however, is that you’re getting in at an entry level - which can be an exciting prospect as you participate in their growth and watch them as their work continues to evolve and flourish.

After you make your purchase or find work you’re interested in, we will do our best to keep you up to date. Make sure to register with an RSS feed, or sign up to follow this artist on Twitter. For example, if the artist who’s work you purchased just got accepted into a group show at the MOMA, or was recently published in The New Yorker, you’ll be the first to know.

What is an edition?

Photographs, particularly in the digital age, can be printed over and over again. However, when an image is being sold as a fine art edition, it means there is a fixed number of times it is allowed to be printed. The edition size is set and is strictly adhered to by the artist and their dealer and/or publisher (i.e. master printer). Once the final image in an edition is sold, the edition is closed forever.

This is what starts to give artwork it’s value. A sold-out edition often means there is a demand in the marketplace for that particular artists work. Usually, once an edition sells out it means that it goes to a secondary market (an auction house for example, like Christies or Sotheby’s) where the price may become much higher than what you originally paid for it.

Every print we sell comes with an edition card that includes the artist’s signature and the edition number you purchased. This edition card is your Certificate of Authenticity. We strongly recommend that you adhere this card to the back of the photograph after it has been framed because this is what certifies your print, should you ever wish to have it evaluated down the road.

What is the difference between an original work of art and a reproduction?

Original artworks are unique, one-of-a-kind or limited edition pieces created by an artist. Reproductions - or posters - are generally mass-produced copies of original artworks that have been made in a factory and often have no real benefit to the artist. Depending on the context, they may also dilute the impact of the original work due to their widespread distribution. A reproduction, when mass distributed in this way, affects the artistic intent and purpose of the original work and can alter our thinking in a way that loses connection with the artists original vision.

EYE BUY ART sells only original, limited editioned art, where the artist benefits directly from the sale of their work. You will not find reproductions for sale on our site.

What is meant by the term artistic intent, or artistic vision?

Artistic vision is a way of seeing the world through the lens of an artist. It's the elusive perception, experience or revelation that an artist has - and their ability to express that mental image or imaginative contemplation coherently to others in the form of a photograph or other artistic medium.

Artistic vision is what motivates artists to do their work. It's the vision they want to share - and when done well - can propel us towards a new way of thinking or feeling. Photojournalists, with one image, can speak to an entire generation and inspire change. And photographers have the ability to turn an ordinary scene into a place of quiet beauty and contemplation. Photography is immediate in conveying an artistic vision, and this is truer in the digital age where information, stories and ideas can be so readily shared.

"Technological advances and widespread access to photography have led to a proliferation of photographic images in and outside art museums, which has in turn contributed to a newfound global visual literacy - a determined, often urgent need to understand and connect with the world through images.

All of the photographers in Flash Forward are driven by a desire to help make these connections. They reflect an unprecedented moment in time and generate a visual intelligence that ultimately empowers a raised consciousness of the world we share now. They offer powerful glimmers of understanding and help illuminate our complex relationship to photography." -- Sara Knelman in her introduction to the book Flash Forward 2009

What is a diptych?

A diptych is a work of art consisting of two pieces that are intended to be hung close together as a pair (a triptych means the same thing but in threes). In almost all cases the work we have chosen for this site is intentionally paired as a diptych, with 2 images working together by the same artist to create maximum impact. It is certainly not compulsory to purchase and hang the work in this way, it just helps to give you a deeper context of the artist's work, and can make a great wall if you choose to hang multiple pieces side by side, or one on top of the other.

Our shipping module allows you to purchase multiple prints and package them in the same envelope to save on shipping costs.

How are art prices decided?

Pricing artwork is not a science. There are many factors that can influence how art is priced; size, medium, how well the artist and their work is known, and so on. The most important factor however, is demand. Like any other product on the market, the greater the demand there is for a piece of work by an artist, the more people are willing to pay.

"There is a clear and regular progression by which important artists become generally recognized. Every great modern artist passes through four successive circles of recognition on his way to fame. The first circle is peer recognition, as the very first people to perceive an important artist are other artists of their own generation. The second stage of recognition is from critics, who begin to explain the artist’s innovations to a wider audience. Critical recognition soon brings the attention of dealers. And finally, in the fourth stage, public acclaim is what makes the artist genuinely famous." -- Sir Alan Bowness (a former director of the Tate Gallery in London), The Conditions of Success 1989

"As Picasso later told me, very correctly, “In order for paintings to be sold at high prices, they must first have been sold very cheaply." -- Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, 1961

Is art a good financial investment?

Buying a piece of art as a financial investment is similar to playing the stock market – with varying degrees of risk and unpredictability. While there are some factors that contribute to a successful art investment - understanding market trends, tracking new artists, being able to spot the winners early – there is no secret formula to knowing what future prices for a piece of art will be. The bottom line is that you should collect art because you love it and because it will enhance your life and your living space. After that, the investment potential becomes incidental and merely a potential bonus to your overall enjoyment of the work.