10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying an Artwork - ART FIX

10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying an Artwork

Did you recently find the artwork of your dreams and cannot wait to purchase it and hang it up in your living room? While we can totally relate, we advise you to take a moment to breathe and ask yourself these 10 questions with this Art Fix quick guide before you break the bank:


Do I have a strong emotional or intellectual reaction to the piece? Does it make my heart beat faster? Does this piece draw me in and does it draw my partner in?  Do I like the colours?  Is it something I won’t get tired of?


What are comparable sales data of the work? What is its market value? Big names equal big numbers. Works made by artists like Damien Hirst or David Hockney will have elite price tags. An emerging artist cannot be valued very high although new rising stars have been known to contradict this notion.


Who’s the person behind this work? Knowing more about the artist can help a lot in your decision. Do you like the artist’s overall style and values? What other art do they have for sale and might you find other pieces in the future that will go well with the ones you already have? We recommend selecting an artist’s typical, rather than atypical, works. Establish which subjects, media, sizes and styles your preferred artist is best known for, and base your decision on this.


Do I understand the piece enough to buy it? Can I tell the story about this artwork when my guests ask me about it?


Is this piece an original or a derivative of another artist? As an artist evolves, their work starts to be their own. They transition from mimicking others to creating unique art. Look for artists who have digested the styles of others artists and have progressed to their own styles and themes.


Is the piece well-constructed and of good quality? Is it made of materials that will age well, or technology that may go out of date?


Is it in my price range? Payment arrangements are often flexible – don’t hesitate to ask if paying in instalments is an option.


Who is the seller of the work? Does the status or brand of the gallery or online platform add value to the artwork? Be careful when buying artwork online and ensure you have checked out the seller.


Does the work have a certificate of authenticity? This is important when you are buying from a dealer, as you don’t want to end up with a forgery.

10. SIZE

Do I have a suitable place to exhibit the work? Make sure you use a measuring tape. This is useful to keep in mind, so that you don’t come home with a new, beloved art piece and then find no good spot for it in your home. Consider things like lighting, spaciousness, wall color, floors and furniture in the room where your new art will live. For tips on hanging artworks, read our story on the do’s and don’ts when hanging your art.

Have you considered all ten questions and found your artwork of choice passed the test? Then go ahead Art Fixer, and make that piece your own! If you’re completely new to collecting–and have no clue where to start–look over to our beginner’s guide for all aspiring collectors!

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