June 13th, 2008
Quite a lot has been written about the worth of art. There are whole books devoted to the matter (and a personal favorite? The Worth of Art by Judith Benhamou- it’s a great gift). But as “valuable” as the diamond studded skull “For the Love of God” by Damian Hirst may be, I don’t want it in my house. It makes me a little sick to look at it. Instead, I want to surround myself with beautiful things, with pieces I adore and art that has meaning to me. There is a quality that I look for in fine art, and it must pass that test in order to be worthy of space in my home.
Only you can decide what that quality is you are looking for. You have to be discerning and educate yourself about what is out there. One of the best parts of working in a gallery is discovering each and every person’s definition of their own qualifications and desires for fine art. Tastes are subjective! John Keats described art in terms of its most important value, quality: “A thing of beauty if a joy forever: Its loveliness increases; and it will never pass into nothingness.”
Your pieces of art will last lifetimes if you curate a collection of beauty, as defined by you alone. The market is up, the market is down. No matter how the economy stands, surround yourself with the things that you love and you make the best possible investment: an investment in yourself.