4 STEPS TO HELP YOU EVALUATE GREAT ART

No CommentsPosted June 18, 2020 by Emily McInnes

Last time we shared our quiz that matches an art style to your personality (didn’t take it yet? Check it out here). Your results may have identified you as a Non-Conformist, a Modernist, a Minimalist, a Classic Lover, or a Generalist.

It’s fun to know what style may suit you, but when it comes to actually choosing a work for your home, office or anywhere, it can sometimes be tricky to pull the trigger on any one piece. You might know what draws your eye, but you’re not sure why, or if it’s a smart move. We’re here to help.

Whether an artwork is “good” or not is subjective. What someone else may be drawn to may not be your cup of tea, but there are certain tricks of the trade we can share that can help you feel confident in your choice.

Here are 4 things we at EYE BUY ART look for in a piece of artwork.

Intrigue
An artwork should capture your attention. Whether it be abstract or portrait, monochrome or colourful, an artwork will often grab your eye from behind your screen or across a room. You might not be able to pinpoint the reason why, but still you find yourself looking at it. This is your intuition and the perfect place to start!


Beatriz Diaz, Nigella Damascena $3.99 ; Botanica Inc.; Brooklyn NY; 12/05/08

Story
What is the story behind the artwork and what compelled the artist to create it? Knowing more about the narrative of the artwork can help you to decide – and you’ll be surprised, sometimes, to discover what lies beneath. Beatriz Diaz’s Nigella Damascena is a portrait of a plant, but it’s also much more than that. It’s a portrait of plant life in the context of the urban NYC environment, and about the use of plastic plants. Diaz is asking through her work: what need is plastic flora fulfilling? What is a plant without the element of life? Are they beautiful or ugly? What is the line between natural and artificial, and does it matter? So many thoughts and questions are provoked in Diaz’s work, much more than might first be apparent. At EYE BUY ART we seek out work that has the perfect trifecta: inspiration, narrative, and intention. Sometimes the story behind the artwork is at odds with what you might have first assumed the work was about, but it always leads to more thinking and may be exactly the conversation starter you want in your home when you host friends or family!

Artist
Who created the work? The person behind an artwork is just as relevant as what it’s about. You might look for different things than someone else: maybe the artist’s formal education is important to you, maybe you want to know more about the other artwork they’ve made before this, maybe you want to support specific kinds of artists. Collecting artwork can be a significant investment, so it makes sense to want to learn about its creator. One of the ways we evaluate an artist that we’re considering is to look for people who demonstrate a commitment to their craft. Some key questions to ask would be:

How long have they been making artwork?
How has their work evolved over time?
Is the work consistent from series to series?
Where have they shown, and are they exhibiting outside their hometown?

We like to seek out artists who we feel are at the cusp of growth and who are considered emerging, and while you can never know who will be the “next big thing” you can look for clues (exhibition history, press features, for example) to see the trajectory their career is taking.

Image courtesy of Tricon House. Artwork featured by Becky Comber and Samuel Choisy.

Does it Suit Your Space
Is this artwork right for you? Where would it live in your home? Would it be placed alongside other artwork or does it need to be able to command a larger space in it’s own room? Sometimes you just love a work so much that it doesn’t matter if you don’t have the “perfect” spot for it just yet, but it is worth thinking about how the work connects to you or whomever you’re buying it for.

By using these methods, we’ve been helping people find the perfect artwork for over a decade and we’re confident you’ll be able to use them to identify which work is right for you

What’s the biggest barrier you face when deciding on artwork and decor for your space? Let us know!

Cheers,

Rose Ekins
Director

P.s. Next time we’re diving behind the scenes of one artist. Click to sign up to our newsletter, or take our quiz again here.

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