Wednesday, December 12, 2007

How to Start Your Own Art Collection On a Budget

It is amazing how the art world seems to have taken a hold of general society. Many more individuals are inclined to forgo reprints and posters and start collecting their own unique art pieces for their homes and offices.

Are you interested in starting your own collection of original art? If you do not have thousands of dollars to spend on famous original artwork then you may wish to consider some other ideas and sources for your art pieces.

One avenue to consider, especially if you have not spent much time cultivating your tastes, is to rent art from a local gallery. You can have an original piece from local artists for a fraction of the cost of purchase. You can also trade in your selection for new pieces which may be refreshing in a business environment, or even a smart way to select art for personal enjoyment if you are not sure which pieces will suit you long term.

Another avenue is to go to local art schools or check your paper for shows by student artists. Here you can buy original pieces by up-and-coming artists for much less than established artists. It also allows you to invest in the growth of local talent, and possibly make an investment that will appreciate enormously in value should the artist truly excel in their field.

If you have an artist's community in your area - studios that are rented by local artists, you may also find that they hold open houses during the year. You may find artwork on sale as they promote themselves through this avenue. It also gives you a chance to speak with the artist and get a real history on the work you select.

Often art collectors are interested as much in the career of the artist as they are in their work. Finding an artist that moves you may cause you to consider collecting from a single artist rather than creating a diverse collection. Following the career of a new artist may give you a more valuable, as well as meaningful, collection down the road.

You may also finding interesting pieces in antique shops, markets and consignment stores. Always keep your eyes open for artwork that appeals to you and do not be too concerned with the value. Art is always subject to individual interpretation and only you can decide if a piece is worthy of your investment.

Do enjoy immersing yourself in your art collecting. Whether it is simply an occasional hobby or becomes an ongoing passion, art is an extension of our imagination that is one of the few truly human pursuits - it fills no need other than emotional - and yet has an impact that intrigues and fulfills us like no other.

Van Gogh's Health and his Medications Intrigue Many

If you’re not an art aficionado then at best you may be able to only identify with Vincent Van Gogh as the artist who cut off his ear. Physically and mentally he had more woes than just his missing ear.

For review, here’s a brief recap of the ear-story. Reportedly, on December 23, 1888 Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin had an altercation in which Van Gogh is said to have threatened Gauguin with a knife. Later that evening Van Gogh returned to the "Yellow House" in Arles where he lived and mutilated himself. Holding the open razor in his right hand, he sliced through his left ear; starting high at the back and chopping downwards so that all the lower part of the ear had been hacked off. This left part of the upper ear still attached as a repugnant flap of flesh.

Van Gogh then wrapped the ear in cloth and made his way to a favorite brothel where he presented this "present" to a prostitute. The police were called in and Van Gogh was subsequently hospitalized. The severed tissue of the ear was placed into a jar of alcohol in case it might be needed as evidence. Some months later it was thrown out.

Further, if you take his ear cutting episode into account, he retained very little memory of it afterward. Perhaps the reason for this lapse was detached amnesia. He could have injured himself in a dissociated state and therefore may have not felt as much pain as another person would. A fit of despair could have been a trigger and he could have lost memory of the traumatic event afterward. That’s one theory, anyway.

Vincent had other ailments other than the mere ear-incident. He had a history of physical problems due, in part, to his poverty and the fact that he was often malnourished. Van Gogh was supposedly also addicted to absinthe, a dangerous narcotic drink popular in the late 19th century. Speculations as to the cause of Van Gogh’s physical problems include syphilis, tinnitus, lead poisoning, Meniere's syndrome and epilepsy. There has also been some discussion that Vincent was the victim of "bad genes". Vincent Van Gogh’s family wasn't of strong lineage. Both of his brothers died young and his sister, Wilhelmina, spent most of her life in a mental asylum. Nonetheless, much of the present discussion about Van Gogh’s heath are purely speculative; mere opinions. Though some find the topic itself it very interesting, there may not be any direct correlation between his illnesses and his brilliance in art. Regardless, the masses still believe Vincent Van Gogh was a phenomenal man. He expressed his beliefs, his thoughts, and his soul in his work. When you see a painting by Van Gogh, it’s not necessary to believe he painted it because he had syphilis. Look past the fact that the man lived in an asylum. Rather, focus on the art and the spirit it expresses instead of the autism or gonorrhea or tinnitus or lead addiction or vertigo that so many people claim he had.