How to Buy Abstract Art
Buying abstract art may seem like a challenge at first, because the artwork doesn't represent something recognizable, but we should also keep in mind another set of values when viewing and appreciating an abstract art.
There are two basic types of abstract art: geometric, where the forms represented are rational, and organic where the forms are freer and suggest images of the natural world.
In both cases, when we stop to look at an abstract artwork it is important to think of it as a kind of musical composition, in which the artist creates his or her work using colors and harmonious forms to express ideas and feelings without employing figurative elements.
This is why, when buying an abstract artwork, it is wise to concentrate on the formal elements-line, color, volume, etc; composition-balance, rhythm and subjective aspects such as the feelings the artwork transmits and the aesthetic sensations that they produce in us.
Here are some things to keep in mind when buying abstract art online:
Explore: Take your time looking for the right artwork. If you know what you're looking for, you can search by artist, style, size, price, etc., narrowing down an online selection to meet your needs. If you don't know exactly what you want, you can start by browsing by color or theme. When something strikes your fancy, try looking for similar pieces, until you find just the right artwork.
A good gallery should have experienced art consultants who can help you in your search.
Budget: Decide how much you would like to spend. Medium- to large-sized paintings by an emerging artists are readily available from $1,000 / E1,000. As the reputation of the artist grows, so will the price of the artwork.
Discover: Before purchasing an original abstract artwork, read the details available on the artist. Whether the artist is emerging or established, you can get a good sense of her career by looking at a list of her exhibitions. Has she participated in important group exhibitions? Does she have solo exhibitions listed? Does she have any artworks in museums or prominent private collections? Has she won any awards for her work?
Educate yourself about the artwork that you've selected. Learn about the medium (oil, acrylic, gouache, on canvas, on board, etc).
Feel free to ask questions. The same art consultants who can help you with your selection will gladly offer you as much information as possible about the artist and her artwork.
Experiment: Share the artwork. Email a link to the artwork a friend or colleague for an opinion you can trust. Try to get a better idea of what the painting will be like in person by taking advantage of special features like PicassoMio's tool that allows you to view the graphic print against a variety of wall colors. A "view-to-scale" option will give you a sense of the size of the artwork, in a realistic setting.
Ensure: Check if the artwork comes with a certificate of authenticity that you feel comfortable with. Keep in mind that some artworks are signed on the front, others on the back, and some not at all. In the last case, it's especially important to have a certificate of authenticity.
Once you're sure you've found just the right painting, make sure you're buying from a trustworthy gallery. Read about the company and their website. Most credible websites provide detailed information about themselves. See if the website provides you with verified and secured online purchases. Read what their customers and the press have to say about them. Find out if the gallery has a reasonable returns policy. When you have done your due-diligence, buy the artwork and enjoy!
Resale: If you think that you may consider reselling the painting at some time in the future, it is important to ensure that the gallery you purchase the art from offers a resale assurance for artworks purchased from them. If so, it is important to be aware of the terms - as the commission rates vary. For example, major auction houses and galleries will typically charge a commission of 20% to 50%, while PicassoMio charges only 10%.