What to do when your tastes in art differ

One of the great pleasures in owning an art gallery is being able to bring people into contact with art they love. However, it’s not all smooth sailing – what happens when the work you love leaves your partner cold?

Even couples who have lived together for more than 50 years still express markedly different artistic tastes (despite having  had to come to some level of aesthetic agreement on any number of house designs, family cars and sofas).

So, what to do, when the art you love leaves your loved one cold? The right answer perhaps varies from person to person, but here are some suggestions:

* Art for the office – Many of us now work in offices, whether downtown or in a room within our homes. Unless you have a preference for bare-all nude portraiture, your partner (and work colleagues) will likely have no objection to your decision to display art works in your workspace. Your spouse may even be delighted to see that orange and blue abstract work disappear from the main living room of your home, and your eclectic tastes might inspire your work colleagues to display some of their own favourite pieces in their office spaces.

* Take your turn – One couple visiting ZIMMERMAN shared their answer to the dilemma of what to do when your artistic tastes differ – they purchase a new art work every year, taking turns as to who chooses the work. Their home is being progressively filled with both the abstract art that feeds her soul, and the realist art that catches his eye. Taking turns also makes for a more diverse collection, as neither person needs to compromise in acquiring the art that resonates with them.

* Split your budget – Another option, which can also result in a more diverse collection, is to split your art-buying budget. If you have $2,000 to spend, allocate yourselves $1,000 each. You may not be able to acquire that large painting she loves and he doesn’t but, by each acquiring a smaller work, you will each have a work that brings you pleasure

* Try a little distraction – Distraction is a great solution to many problems – instead of trying to solve the problem, focus on something else instead. If you simply cannot agree on a style of painting that suits you both, start looking at another form of art entirely, such as fine art photography or sculpture.

* Swap with friends –  It’s not just simplicity that makes pot-luck dinners so popular – it’s great fun to enjoy a taste of something delicious from someone else’s home, which has potential to be a hit at your place too. The same concept can apply to art – if you have friends who are keen, why not swap around a piece or two, to give you and your loved ones a chance to experience living with a different style of art? Your partner may be surprised at how he or she responds to a particular style or subject matter once it can be enjoyed in your own home.

* Join an art syndicate – Related to the idea of swapping with friends is joining an art buying syndicate. Syndicates are usually formed by friends or associates who, for an agreed period of time, pool resources to build a shared collection. As well as being enjoyable and educational, syndicates give each member the opportunity to experience different works in their own homes, for the period within which the syndicate is actively collecting works.

* Art rental – Some galleries offer an art rental service, where people not wishing to commit to a purchase may nevertheless be able to spend time living with the art they love for an agreed period. ZIMMERMAN’s first art rental came about following an inquiry by an overseas visitor, on a fixed term contract in Palmerston North. The employer had supplied a fully furnished apartment, but it was completely devoid of artistic personality. ZIMMERMAN was able to supply art works to the customer, for them to enjoy for the duration of their stay.

So, next time you are viewing art with your partner, consider whether one of the above options might work for you.

For further information contact ZIMMERMAN - www.zimmerman.co.nz / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.