I consider art anything that cosmetically pleases me; photography, watercolor, ceramics, jewelry, it really doesn’t matter. I’m just looking to be pleased. In fact some of what may be considered classic or masterful art doesn’t even appeal to me at all. Some of what I have seen elevated to high places, could even disgust me at times. No need to mention artists by name, but there is some art that, in my opinion, probably shouldn’t even be called art.
My flexible view toward art allows me to appreciate anything I see. I don’t have to think about whether it is an original or not. If I like it, its art to me and I will probably try to acquire it. I purchased what was billed as a copy of Van Gogh’s Starry Night on the Internet, some time ago. I paid a paltry sum for it, but I love it. It really wasn’t the fact that Van Gogh painted the first one that made me like it. I just like the appearance of the painting, what it does to me, and the fanciful use of the brush to create movement in the sky. My copy is every bit as attractive as the original.
I have purchased several pieces of art on the Internet. In every case, I have known them to be copies, but I didn’t let that bother me. I was looking for a pleasing image, more than I was searching for an original anything by anybody. The pleasing image is what I got.
Reality is one of the most pleasing canvases I have ever had the privilege of viewing. Photos capture reality very well. This makes the hobby of photography a strong form of art to me. Some people don’t believe taking pictures is art, but that depends upon your interpretation of art. Again, does the image please me?
When buying art on the Internet you do need to answer several questions first;
1) IS THE ARTIST KNOWN: Make certain you are OK with the artist not necessarily being a known artist. If the artist does not have to be the artist who painted the original piece you can get some really nice looking art for reasonable prices. Believe me, you will never find the original “The Starry Night” for sale on the Internet. I like what some refer to as “Starving Artist” work. I have purchased several “Starving Artist” canvasses and they hold their beauty as well as any other.
2) ORIGINAL / COPY / PRINT: Do you like the warmth of the real media or are you truly only searching for the image. When I buy art I usually lean toward oil paintings. I like to feel the brush strokes and sense the warmth coming from the painting. I don’t really like prints; they lose just a little bit of personality when the texture of the oil disappears. All types are available, but you should be aware of what you want and what the item you are considering actually is.
3) PLEASURE / INVESTMENT: If you were buying for investment I would not recommend the Internet. Not that there will definitely be anything bad or wrong, but you have a host of people you could end up dealing with. You don’t know any of them and you cannot see them. If you want original artist, legitimate artwork, you really need to go to a real auction house where you have guarantees and experts ready to verify. For pleasure, you have a host of work to select from on the Internet.
4) FRAMED / ROLLED: Quite often the art you are bidding on is displayed in a frame so you can better see the entire canvas. That does not mean the frame comes with it. Often the frame is extra and is up to two or three times the cost of the painting. If the frame is not included, but you choose to request one, you will also have to pay additional for postage. Check the fine print closely before you place your final bid.
5) SHIPPING COSTS: Another one of the most important things to consider when buying art on the Internet is the postage. I have purchased very attractive pieces of art, some copies others original, for a very, very low purchase price only to find that the postage is ten times the price I just paid. All it takes is a sharp eye and a quick mind to remember to check the seller’s postage policies. Many of them sell their art at rock bottom prices but then charge preposterous rates for postage.
I made that mistake once. I confronted the seller and was told “Come on now, you don’t think you could buy that art for that price do you?” In other words she knew the art price was too low for reality but she also knew she would make it up in over charging on postage. My mistake, I could have and should have checked, but I was so excited over being the high bidder with such a low bid that I just let it slip.
If you buy art on the Internet I think you could be very pleased, particularly if you can accept the fact that the Mona Lisa is a soothing portrait to view whether it was painted by Leonardo Da Vinci or by Fred Smith down the street. All I want is a pleasant view I don’t care who provides it for me and I can regularly get that on the Internet.