October 17th, 2011

Several years ago, I signed up for Gwyneth Parltrow’s Blog updates on her “GOOP” website. She typically opines on topics such as fashion and food (how does she eat so much pasta and stay so thin?!?) but this week there is a wonderful post from Maria Brito on artwork and what it means to collect, value, and appreciate it.

You can see the link to the newsletter here, but I have excerpted a few choice pieces of information.

From Maria Brito: “Contemporary art is the art of our times and the art that reflects who we are individually and as a society. It engages the eye and the mind and can open doors and windows to places as remote as Kyoto or as close as Brooklyn. It should not be difficult to live with such an engaging and interesting form of expression, and yet, as an interior designer and a collector myself, I see that not enough people are enjoying the opportunity to live with art. It’s my mission [as an art adviser] to demystify the world of contemporary art and interior design and marry them both in a way that is attainable (and irresistible).”

There are three other important factors to think about when starting a collection (and don’t be scared by the word “collection;” anybody with more than one piece of artwork has already started a collection):

* Pay attention to the artist’s career…

Obviously emerging artists (not necessarily young but generally in the first five years of his or her career) have artworks with price points that are lower than those who are mid-career or established.

* Consider the medium…

Prints, editions and photography are more accessible than originals. There are cases, for example, where mid-career or established artists who usually work with oil or acrylic or mixed media on canvas decide to release a limited edition of prints that are a fraction of what the originals would cost. I love prints and photography and recommend them to a lot to my clients because you can get large, graphic works without breaking the bank. Note: Whenever possible, buy limited editions rather than open editions.

* Size is key…

In the world of contemporary art, bigger is usually better. I will always favor buying a larger piece because of the impact it can make, turning a room from ‘blah’ to ‘wow!’”

Maria Brito is an interior designer, a tastemaker and an authority on mixing contemporary art and interior design. She is the CEO and creative force behind Lifestyling® By Maria Gabriela Brito www.mariabrito.com , a company that offers full interior design and decoration services, sourcing, curating, and displaying art collections that truly reflect clients’ tastes and lifestyles. Maria lives and works in New York City with her husband and two sons.