I have been mulling this question over the last few weeks. Some collectors buy on impulse: they see a work that speaks to them and they have to have it. If the price is right they buy it on the spot knowing that someone else can come by and snap it up. Others, like a couple who came into Flux Gallery a few weeks ago, have their eyes on a piece for TWO YEARS before they buy it. Some seek a particular color. One of my collectors purchased my Egyptian-inspired piece Fragment because the ibis was one of the marsh birds depicted on it (he has an ibis collection).
I recently sold a very dark work I call The Fabric of Our Community After January 8. It is a piece I created believing no one would ever purchase, but one I needed to make all the same. I tried to evoke the despair I felt for the victims and my hometown that day and in the aftermath of the Tucson shootings. I completed the work within 3 weeks of the tragedy. Because made the piece so soon after the event, there are no rainbows or happy transformational symbolism in the work, just the delicate golden husks of a few Indonesian silk cocoons. The work was spotted on my website by a collector and now hangs in his corporate offices.
Over the holidays, I purchased two works I have had my eye on for some time. Aspen and Copse are both by my friend C.J. Shane, who is known for her abstracted ‘big sky’ landscapes. They would perfectly fill some corner wall space that had long been empty in my home. The sizes and colors are terrific for the space. The pieces themselves were soothing–the yellows appear to glow softly against the blues. I will see them every day and wanted something calm and tranquil. They remind me of Hart Prairie in northern Arizona, which has a large aspen clone in a meadow below Mt. Humphreys. I love the way they looked when installed (see below). The fact that I know Shane, like her work, and want to support it is ‘icing on the cake.’
I suspect the answer to my question has as many variables as there are art purchases, but I’ll ask anyway: why did you buy a particular piece of art? Was it the theme? Color? Size? Subject matter? Medium? Did you buy it as part of a charity fundraiser? If you are an artist, tell me why you think people buy your work.