Buying art at auction is a fun way to buy art and it means (depending on the auction work you choose) that the art also has a form of quality guarantee. For the beginner, however, it can be difficult to know what to offer. A good way to « get started » is to start with slightly smaller auctions and buy images that you like at slightly lower prices.
Buying art at the gallery
If you’re lucky enough to live in a place with many art galleries, you’ll probably get an idea of which gallery is showing and exhibiting the art you love. Then be sure to talk to the gallery’s artist and be informed about the artist’s background, history, qualifications, etc.
If you are able to develop a friendly relationship with the gallery artist, they can learn a little more about what you like and also advise you on other similar artwork you might like.
The difference between a gallery and an art business
Where you buy your art says a lot about the quality of the art. If you buy from an « art dealer » in a store where they sell a bit of each, frames, etc., then it’s probably a slightly inferior quality of art.
The same is true if you buy art in tourist resorts. It’s easy to sell to happy tourists, and even if it’s local artists, it rarely means that it’s particularly good art, simply because the tourists buy it anyway.
A gallery, however, often has regular exhibitions and is a bit more demanding in its selection. This more often means that the art is of a higher standard.
Buy on the web or via ads
If you buy artwork online, you can choose from a wide selection.
Usually you will find artwork online a little cheaper, as it is difficult to tell whether a painting is authentic or not when you buy online.
Buy directly from the artist
This is not the most common, but it is quite possible to buy a work directly from an artist. Many artists have their own studios where you can view the works and buy them directly from them. Some artists also have their own websites where they sell their work directly.
If you are really interested in a specific artist, it may also be interesting to look up their contact information and contact them directly.