Collecting 101: How to Curate on a Budget
Whenever we go into galleries or mosey through museums, we leave feeling inspired and wishing we could take something other than a postcard home with us. But just because most of us aren’t waving paddles at Christie’s or picking up pieces at Gagosian on the reg doesn’t mean we can’t have beautiful art at home. As long as you know what you like and listen to your gut, you’ll have a great little collection in no time.
To market, to market. One of the best places to scoop up treasures are yard sales and flea markets. Go often, and keep your eyes peeled. You’ll often find special pieces tucked amongst the castoffs. You just have to be willing to dig.
Prints charming. Just because something’s one of a kind doesn’t make it great, and just because there are a few others floating around doesn’t make something less special. We love a good print, especially when they’re vibrant and enigmatic like Sylvie Auvray’s Elvira or bold and graphic like limited-edition Sphynx.
Hide and seek. Inspiration is hiding everywhere you go, so be sure to seek it. Keep your eyes open when you travel, as you may spot something special that’ll be an ideal addition to your budding collection. Places like Parilio in Paros have captivating collections of exclusive artworks (Iosif Foskolos created stunning pieces where the sun plays protagonist), while spots like Hotel Grand Amour boast rooms designed by local artists. A true feast for the eyes.
Sounds like a plan. Not many people know it, but you can actually set up a payment plan to purchase larger pieces in more manageable chunks. Not all galleries will do this, but many small ones are happy to. It never hurts to ask.
Statue of limitations. When most people start collecting, their minds immediately go to paintings. But there’s a whole world beyond expensive oils. Little sculptures and special decorative objects are just as welcome when curating art at home. They also add texture and visual interest to an otherwise static collection.
Basic instinct. And, most importantly, you really have to trust your instincts when you’re collecting. Sure, someone can tell you what will hold value or what might fit in your space, but if you don’t love it from the moment you see it, it’s not worth it. Pick what makes you pause.