Yes You Can. Buy Art. In your 20s.


Portrait of Gertrude Stein by Picasso

As I was reading last night I realized I had discovered a little bit of 40:20 Vision from Ernest Hemingway:

“‘You can either buy clothes or buy pictures,’ she said. ‘It’s that simply. No one who is not very rich can do both.” – Gertrude Stein as “quoted” in The Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

Gertrude suggested buying the art of your peers and emerging artists in the communities you live in. For her, at the time, it was Paris. But art is everywhere today. Many of the 40-somethings I talk to wish they had bought more art when they were in their 20s. You don’t have to break the bank, you just have to buy what you like. Here is what one woman who started buying art  in her 20s had to say about what it means to her now:

“Over the years I’ve probably bought 15-20 pieces including paintings, photography, sketches and even a bronze sculpture. I am by no means a real or serious collector – I simply buy what I like and what I can afford at the time. What I’ve learned is that buying and owning artwork provides a joy that I never would have predicted when I was 20. On the one hand, there’s the intrinsic value of the piece itself but there’s so much more to the near-visceral remembrance on the time and place when I first saw each piece, where I was in my growing up, what walls they’ve lived on in various apartments…it’s as if the art tells not only the story of itself but the story of me – and it’s incredibly powerful and comforting.”

This woman shared her thoughts on what to spend your money on:

“Art exists in many forms. It could be a drawing or a picture but it could also be a chair or a credenza, or some sort of bench. I would always start picking up stuff like that. That actually goes up in value. And it’s something that you love and gives you pleasure that may last longer than an item of clothing.”

And this excerpt from a post on Joanne Wilson’s Gotham Gal Blog talks about resources to find art at any price range and how the internet is changing the “collecting” experience”

“The opportunity to buy prints as well as limited editions from top artists are sold at 20 X 200, Art SpaceArtstar and Exhibition A.  You can even rent art for your walls from Artiscle.  Access to art is available at an entirely different level.  There is where you can discover fine art and through them get connected to the gallery.  There are also Art Fair sites that are launched around specific fairs where you can buy on line prior to the event, during the event and after the event. It is pretty amazing that you can see, discover and educate yourself about art while sitting on your couch watching your computer.”

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