There are many solid reasons for collecting works of art; some collect for the pure joy of “finding,” and some purely as an investment. It’s rarely a singular motive that drives people to collect; usually there are a variety of reasons that drive one to collect. Just as each artist has different motivations for creating things, each collector has unique reasons for collecting. Whether you’re a veteran collector or just wading into the water, it’s certainly good to consider why and what you’re collecting.
A longtime collector, advocate for the arts, and patron of young talent, Peggy Cooper Cafritz offered her number one tip for developing a personal eye for art: “Trust your gut—buy artists who really grab you.”
That’s a tall order because that means that you’ll need to spend time really getting to know what work is out there in the world. Charles Saatchi has noted, “Few people in contemporary art demonstrate much curiosity. The majority spend their days blathering on, rather than trying to work out why one artist is more interesting than another, or why one picture works and another doesn’t.” It’s much easier (and safer) to collect what others are collecting, but it’s worth considering whether or not that will be the type of collection that will best showcase who you are. Ultimately, your collection is about you; what you value, what you love.