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The Hepworth Wakefield: Advice on starting your own collection

Follow your heart, be kind to your mind and be kind to your pocket: A Brief Introduction to Collecting 

I describe my pop up gallery presentation as eclectic and it is that very property which drove my initial interest in works on paper and then on to running the gallery which now pops up all over the country.

When purchasing art follow your heart, be kind to your mind and be kind to your pocket.  Buy art, buy prints is a mantra by which we can all live. Prints provide an affordable entry into art collecting but should above all be regarded as works of art in their own right and as such should reflect the buyer’s  interest and enjoyment. They may have been produced in multiples, but that contributes to their affordability. It does not detract from artistic merit.

Building a collection is so much easier for most people than buying one off original paintings, not only because of price but also because many artists produce a series which enables a collection of subject matter, as well as artist to be assembled.

The majority of prints, but not all, will have been signed by the artist and will show the edition size and the numbered position of that print in the edition. Prints are produced in a wide variety of mediums; some are monochrome, some with printed colours, while others are hand painted afterwards.

All work will have been produced by an artist but it is at that point that the print process diverges from that of the one-off, but both are originals. For prints, the artist will have intended the work to be reproduced more than once so will have chosen a medium that permits that.

Look at modern (mid-20th century) Japanese prints, the Japanese have always been at the cutting edge of design and technique. Look at how the artists have drawn inspiration from the style of the times they lived in.

Think of those sinuous art nouveau prints, the simplicity of the Art Deco period, and the stark, sometimes brutal images of modernism. There really is something for everyone and that tentative first purchase can lead to years of enjoyment in collecting and appreciating this eclectic and democratic art medium.

Brian Greenfield, Studiotic

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