Why original art? Why not a poster? There are many reasons. The space that you live in and work in is important to you and those who visit you. You can improve the look and feel of those spaces with real, original artworks.
Many people buy a copy of a poster – which nowadays may be called a “litho”, or an “art litho”, etc. Many people even believe they will save some money decorating their homes, condos, offices with posters. The people who buy these posters are buying a copy of a copy of a well-known popular work. The original work was usually created years ago by a now well-known artist.
These posters are appreciated both for the image and as a sort of logo that represents a body of work, period, or school that the buyer sees as a personal favorite. While there is nothing wrong with this per se, it is certainly not as much a personal statement as the buying of an original work.
Posters and giclee’s (a textured copy of a poster on canvas) also offer less ambience and presence than original works of art. Certainly some copies are better than others – but the copy always loses many of the properties of the original work.
Very few can afford a Van Gogh, Monet, or Renoir unless they buy a poster copy of those works. There is a difference between listening to music on the radio or a CD and being present during a performance by living musicians. This difference is the same for visual art. After you have seen some Van Goghs and Monets you know it’s different than looking at copies. An original artwork appears to have more intensity, it has textural properties and it has a physical presence among other things that a poster cannot attain.
Frame shops can put a poster into a decorator moulding, add a matte, etc. – which is becoming very expensive – to display the poster. It is now a well-displayed poster, for which you have spent $50-500 to display.
There are many so-called “limited edition fine art prints – signed by the artist and numbered” that are sold under the pretense that they will probably appreciate in value. You have only to check eBay and garage sales to see that at least 99.9% of these are next to worthless. These “fine art prints” are originally priced anywhere from $50-1000. These are possibly the worst investment ever sold.
Buying orignal artworks need not be expensive. The artists of today are turning out a vast array of beautiful pieces in every medium. These works of art do not have to be purchased through the highest priced galleries either.
Many artists represent themselves or sell through reasonably priced galleries. There are also art auctions, charity art exhibits, art festivals, and many local artist groups that have creative, journeyman artists offering amazing values.
The prices of original artworks can be very negotiable. This depends of the artist, dealer or broker to whom you are talking. Many of my friends make it a point to buy directly from artists that they can talk with, possibly befriend. Others get direction from publications or a particular art dealer that they trust.
Display of original works costs about the same as for posters, possibly less is the frame is part of the purchase or the canvas is gallery wrapped so that there is no need for a frame.
Countless artists that I have spoken to have original works available that they will sell for $30-1000. Most people I speak with are able to find excellent values for an average of $400 per piece. And, there is a real possibility that these originals will appreciate in value. But I am writing about this in a different article.
So, you can do the math, is a poster in a frame (with little chance of appreciation) a better value than an original. Be a real art buyer! Shop for beautiful, well-executed, original works by serious, living artists with whom you can negotiate good prices.