Archive for December, 2009
When I was growing up, my father would take our house guests around the house and show his collection–I was lucky enough to live in a house filled with art. My father loved art and each piece had a story. Sometimes the tour would take an hour and even people who had never had an interest in art loved hearing the stories.
The guests appreciated the art more because they could know something about the artist and the reasons my father bought the works.
I liked art with a story and still do. It is not enough for a painting to be beautiful. I am always looking for something special.
This photo of work by Ryudai Takano is truly something special. To me, it is ” Cherry Blossom Perfection”, great resolution and contrasts and it is of flowers that are the flowers that people think of when they think of Japan. Also, like Robert Mapplethorpe, Ryudai Takano photographs naked men and flowers. He also won the Ihei Kimura prize, the top photogrpahic prize in Japan, and studied–not photography-but political science at one of Japan’s top universities, Waseda.
When people think about buying art, the usual advice is to buy what you like. This advice rarely helps people. It is just a starting point. Some people tell me, “I don’t know what I like”, so here are my suggestions on what kind of art to buy.
What kind of art to buy?
1. Buy art that will nourish you, make you feel good. When you come home tired at the end of the day, art can say,” welcome home, take a seat, have a rest”
2. Buy art that you and others will notice. Buy art that demands people look at, even if it is difficult to look at. Some art just blends into the background, but art can do so much more.
3. Buy art that no one else is buying. You would not want to go to a party where every one is wearing the same tie or same dress. Buy art that is uniquely you, that people can see in no one else’s home. Show confidence in your choices.
4. Buy art that inspires you. Art has the potential to transform lives. Art can provide the inspiration to bring us to do things we never dreamed possible.
5. Buy art that relaxes you. Our home is our shelter, we need a place to relax. Art can help create that shelter.
6. Buy art that will help a young artist. The art world has too many starving artists. You can stop this. Many artists decide early in their career whether or not to continue. Your purchase will help them live, help the survive and help them decide to make a career as an artist. Below we have a beautiful mono-print from Takako Sato who is only 27 years old and like many of our young artists, works a variety of jobs to pay the rent and live. Some may know her as an aerobics instructor at Tokyo gym clubs.
7. Buy art that engages you. I like art that I can look at for a long time, not art that I just skip by quickly.
8. Buy art that will bring back good memories. Many of the visitors to our gallery look for work by Japanese artists. They may not live here forever, but they want a work of art that will bring back remembrances of the time that they spent here.
9. Buy art that you don’t understand. Challenge yourself. You can learn about the art. You can find out about the artist’s motivations, what the artist is trying to say, and you can also think about what the art means to you.
10. Buy art that has a story you can tell others. You can learn about the artist’s life, where the artist studied, went to school, the details in the works.
11. Buy art for your kids. Buy art that your kids love. Help them learn about art at a young age. It is likely that they will have the work longer than you.
12. Buy art that pioneers new methods and techniques. One of our artists, Ono Kouseki, pioneered new methods of screenprinting. We also have another work by an artist who paints and draws on bees wax on Japanese washi paper. The works draw us in, make us ask, “what is that”, “how did they make that.” Our engagement with the work increases along with our curiosity.