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Geraldine Duskin showcased artists at December's Art Aquain Miami. Photo by Beth Furgurson
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TifennPython, Le Bonnet, mixed media on canvas. Photo byBeth Furgurson
So you've been to First Fridays Art Walk a million times over, and now you're ready: It's time to buy art for your home. But how on earth do you choose one piece, let alone build a collection? Happily, the most important thing is simply knowing what you're drawn to, according to Geraldine Duskin of Ghostprint Gallery on Broad Street. She talked to us about curating your own at-home gallery and understanding what to look for when buying art.
R•Home: Are there a couple of basic tenets to follow when it comes to buying art?
Geraldine Duskin: It's not that easy to put into talking points. I think it's subtler than that. It has to do with acquiring a discerning eye, recognizing your taste and what you're attracted to.
R•Home: That makes sense. But what if you're not artistic at all and don't have a well-honed sense of what you like?
Duskin: A way to develop that is by going to galleries and museums, or even online, and deciding what type of art you're drawn to — figure, landscape, impressionist, abstract. Like when you meet someone, you are drawn to that person straight away. It's the same with art. Quite likely, you have an
intuitive attraction to something, and you can develop that by looking more and more and deciding if it's something that you are going to be captivated by immediately and if it will stay with you and become a meaningful and satisfying thing in your life. Look at what art speaks to you. What do you think about when you look at it? What does it invoke in you? What imagination is behind the work? You can try to get into the mind of the artist.
R•Home: Does the art have to complement your home décor in some way?
Duskin: I think some people are conventional and want something that looks nice and matches décor, but we are talking about people who want a collection that reflects taste and interest. And art does all that. You don't have to stick to the period of your home. Look at European design magazines. Someone in Paris who has a traditional apartment with moldings and woodwork might still choose eclectic art.
R•Home: If you're starting the decorating process from scratch, what do you decide on first, art or décor?
Duskin: If you're like me, the art comes first. If you've already got your house pretty well
together, the more adventurous homes, they are willing to put up whatever appeals. That's a true collector. But it's OK to match décor if that's what you're interested in.
R•Home: If they like the piece in the gallery, how does someone know that they'll like it at home over their fireplace for the next decade?
Duskin: Have the gallery owner bring the piece to your home to see it. Some people know straight away it will work, but a lot of people don't have the imagination to know if it will fit in their home.
R•Home: What about for people who are buying art as an investment and not just decorating?
Duskin: Look at auction records and see what work is selling for, and have a good idea of what you're paying. Spend time doing homework. You can look online at blouinartinfo.com or in art magazines. Go to art fairs where you come across emerging artists who could go on to have a career and whose artwork will increase in value. Then you'll see all sorts of things that are interesting.
R•Home: Any other tips for truly appreciating art?
Duskin: An artist is making something visible from something that's invisible. Take a painting class. Then you can understand how really gifted artists are and how difficult a process it is.