Buying Art-How to Tell Good Art from Bad

Buying Art-How to Tell Good Art from Bad

All art is completely subjective.
So, how do you know if it’s good? Before you can answer this question, you need to know why you want to buy. Is it an investment or an addition to your collection? Are you trying to match your couch? Attempting to fill an odd blank wall? You saw a piece and thought, “I want to see that every day!”
If you are buying as an investment, what matters is the amount that others would pay to own the piece.

It is more a matter of public opinion or popularity, rather than the skill of the artist. It would be wise to consult a qualified art appraiser in this instance. We have all seen reports of art selling for millions, but personally questioned its quality. Does it really matter if people want it enough to own it? In this case good = critical opinion, nothing more.

It’s all relative.


If you are buying to decorate your space you may be more interested in color size and style so as to compliment the rest of the room.

Can you put a realistic piece in a modern room? Absolutely! An abstract in a rustic or vintage setting? Of course, in fact that can be a really cool contrast and make a big statement in a room. It’s all about buying something you love, you are drawn to or that speaks to you in some way.


But is it good?
Chances are that if the pieces looks to you as though the artist attempted something they didn’t quite have the skills for, it is probably not very good. If it’s painful to look at you already know you don’t care much for it. No matter what anyone else thinks, it’s up to you to decide what you think looks good.
But aren’t there more concrete guidelines? Sure, if the proportions within the piece are off it can just look wrong, unless it appears to be purposefully stylized. It’s not good if a piece has no focal point or main area of interest, but then such work rarely draws your attention anyway.




Does the classical music critic think  the  latest hit on the pop charts is  well written?  Probably not, but does  that keep you from  belting it out in  the shower? It is clearly  good  enough.

 In the end, consider it good if you  like it  enough to want it around.

1 comment

  • Loren D. Adams

    Aloha Laurie, I found your Facebook page and your web-site. Gee, I like your action and your pleasant attitude, it’s very refreshing. Your Art is very attractive and would liven up any room with joy. Thanks for being you and being so talented, and sharing it with all of us…

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