Why you should buy art in these modern times
7 art community insider insights revealed
Could there possibly be a good enough reason to buy art today? I guess the question that you’d ask next is why you buy anything at all.
Most of our purchases come down to the highly debatable need vs. want. We buy things because we need them and they somehow impact our foundational survival. We also buy things because we want them. Ownership of certain items satisfies a deep-seated need or passion because the markets won again and tugged on our vulnerable and sensitive heartstrings. We also buy because we’re watching what other people have and think if we have those things too we will be like them, be happier, or acceptable.
The basis of our purchasing decisions is strictly emotional. We get this feeling in our souls and come alive with giddy, connectedness, relief, or any number of feelings that wash over us when we imagine owning something new. We play out whole scenarios about how those items will somehow add to our lives. This narrative triggers our minds with the psychological perception that this feeling signifies a purchase is “worthy of my money”.
Simply put, we desire and acquire.
So where does art buying fit into all of this? And is there really a “should” factor here?
There is, and it begins at the point of satisfaction.
1 You Should Buy Art Because it is Satisfying
Photo by Dictionary.com
Satisfaction. We need it, uncompromisingly.
What does satisfaction do for the human soul exactly?
Feelings of satisfaction are interconnected with wellbeing. When we feel loved, comforted, content and gratified oxytocin is released into our bloodstream. We feel amazing. This is why a hug, kiss, or cuddling session can relax us so much we feel like new people. Oxytocin causes us to have an elevated mood leading to more optimism, more laughing, smiling, good choices, and overall joy and happiness. Even viewing beautiful things like flowers or the ocean waves lapping at the shore can release the calming and mood-boosting effects of oxytocin. Our quality of life is immediately impacted by the release of oxytocin and the more this oxytocin release is attached to life-affirming, self-esteem boosting decisions, the better we are for it.
Some from a purely pleasure-centric, hedonist space art buying just feels freaking good. Part of this good feeling comes from the innate ability of art as a vehicle of connection. Art is pulled from the collective conscious. All of the art ever created will reach someone who is also in alignment with that same energy.
Van Gogh’s “The Scream” illustrates this concept perfectly. Let me explain.
Van Gogh had an emotional Post-Impressionism style. The Scream evokes tension, fear, stress, shock, darkness, melancholy, and or a variety of other responses. This sense of validation we get from a work of art whether the themes are joyous, abstract, or morbid ease us and provide a sense of, “someone sees me”. We feel less alone and thereby connected and satisfied. A basic human need is connection usually through community, and art has the uncanny power to bridge human beings together regardless of the difference in perception of that work.
You might want to check out the immersive Van Gogh Museum, Beyond Van Gogh, active in Miami through October 2021. It’s packed with floor-to-ceiling simulated projections of Van Gogh’s most essential works. There is even a drive-thru option.
Beyond the connection points art establishes, the satisfaction aspect of an art purchase relates to a Barclays report on treasure assets. A treasure asset (TA) is a purchase such as art or an MLB collectible that provides an emotional ROI. We feel a sense of euphoria or joy by buying it.
The report found that most purchases like that of art are purely emotional, 82% of people bought these TA’s for enjoyment, and 23% purchase TA’s for investment purposes. We want to own exclusive, beautiful things. In a world where acquiring is equal to status and stuff is equal to importance people buy art because they almost “have to” to feel good. The high and the feeling of a status boost garnered from treasure asset purchases
2 Buying Art Begets More And Better Art
The economics of supply and demand is valuable to competition and innovation because of the open market which powers the world. How industries move grow and evolve has so much to do with the revenues created within them and the cravings we have to enter into a particular industry and doing something unique and distinct. As human beings, we sometimes fail to recognize that our competition is not other people, but ourselves. This misinformed idea helps drive the evolutions we see in any discipline.
With regard to art, when artists and collectors alike see a market demand for a certain type of art, heads turn in that direction. Brushes begin swishing around in the water, pencils skip along with free sketch pads, canvases get larger, and clay takes on a novel and obscure shapes. We all want to be a part of the revolution in our own way, thus if this art sells creators want to try their hand at iconic ink blots or the carefree scribbles of Basquiat, and the textured realism of Van Gogh.
We buy art to add more fuel to the vehicle of art. It’s the same innovation we see in the making of automobiles when concept cars garner fanfare and set the next stage in car manufacturing. The next level in car-making is what car brand can produce the most innovative and original SuperCar. Cars and RVs begin to fly, float on water, become fully self-driving, electric, include single car garages, rooftop decks with hot tubs, helipads, and helicopters, integrate luxurious amenities and features from 4k TVs, game systems, the ability to drive sideways, and fully reclining. All of these features are actually genuine SuperCar features, and they get more novel than this!
Similarly, buying art pushes artists to make greater works, to challenge themselves into the expansion that is within. Buying art stretches the discipline and the artists alike and in so doing evolves the entire human race. The collective mind sharing in a particular experience of art becomes more conscious and aware. So not only is buying art helpful to economic vitality, it creates a limitless, fearless opportunity for the artists and the progression of human creativity and intelligence. As a byproduct of your support for artists, if they win financially so do you.
3 Art impacts mental and emotional well being
You’ve probably seen the use of art as young as grade school. And even before you ever stepped into your kindergarten class, happily toting your backpack full of colored pencils, watercolors, and magic markers your parents were encouraging your creativity with Crayola art sets and artist easels–just not on their pristine white living room walls. Can you recall the freedom and enthusiasm you had when coloring outside of the lines was the only way to do art?
That enjoyment was completely intentional. Especially considering the energy we had as children, art allowed us to channel that energy while also cultivating our mental and emotional wellness. We learned early on the meditative and healing value of our before we were conscious of it. You may recall turning to a sketchbook and drawing book whenever you wanted to relax, even if you didn’t call it relaxing.
There was a reason for that.
A 2010 Australian Psychiatry study by Geraldine Hunter and Ernest Hunter on the power of art as a creative recovery tool for mental health identifies art as beneficial as a tool for “community participation and social cohesion”. This cohesion is assistance to one’s mental health and because individual mental health is interconnected with the collective “social and emotional wellbeing” arts influence is poignant. Whole states are using art in the promotion of country-wide mental health initiatives (Dyer & Hunter)
Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness. It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind. As the sun colours flowers, so does art colour life.
― John Lubbock
Theresa Van Lith, Margot Schofield, and Patricia Fenner found in a critical evidence-based study for Disability and Rehabilitation Journal of art-based practices that art has the ability to assist in the development of “self-discovery, self-expression, relationships, and social identity”. There is a compounding benefit when these elements can be nurtured and grown through the use of the art, applied in a direct sense. Imagine all the development art has created for the collective without these considered boundaries. The scholars also cited the arts’ notable contribution to mental health recovery (Van Lith, Schofield, & Fenner).
Because of the correlation between art and the improvement of mental wellbeing art courses have been introduced and study for their impact. Secker, Loughran, Heydinrych, and Kent studied 29 introductory art courses and their participants and found there were “significant improvements in well-being and social inclusion”. Not only that but those students taking the courses self-reported their experiences as positive and said this experience was directly related to their participation in the art courses (Secker, Loughran, Heydinrych, & Kent).
It is clear art is up to something serious. Buying art links right back into this positive feedback loop.