When considering artwork for your home or office, a relatively cheap and simple solution is to buy a commercially produced art print. Such prints are readily available from home decor stores, and generally feature either styles with broad appeal, or iconic artworks - such as Van Gogh’s sunflowers - that few of us could otherwise ever hope to afford.

However, as most art enthusiasts will agree, there are a number of reasons to prefer original works of art over commercially produced prints. Below are some key reasons for acquiring original works instead of commercial reproductions:

* Consider the subtleties: Commercial reproductions of paintings are, in essence, mass produced photocopies of the original work. Such copies rarely, if ever, accurately convey the true size, colour, surface texture and emotional impact of the original. Add to this the subtleties of how the light hits the original work, the gloss or flatness of the paint, the evidence of the artist’s brushstrokes across the canvas ... all aspects of what makes an original work of art so much more sexy than a mere reproduction.  

* Be unique: By selecting an original artwork, you will forever possess a one-of-a-kind piece. Even if the work is part of a limited edition or series of related work, each piece made by the artist’s own hand will bear distinctive quirks and characteristics that are unique to that piece. This creates a rarity value much less likely to be enjoyed by commercially reproduced prints.

* Appreciate your connection to the work: Owning an original work makes you part of the work’s provenance (ownership history). While provenance is rarely of consequence for a commercially produced art print, for original works it is integral to establishing the authenticity of a work, and becomes an important part of the information relating to the piece. Wherever the work may come to be in future years, your decision to acquire the piece makes you an essential part of the ownership chain of that work.  

* Enjoy your connection to the artist: Acquiring original works by a living artist is an investment in that artist’s career. It can be an ongoing pleasure to follow the artist’s development over future years – particularly if the artist’s works increase in popularity and value. Some collectors also enjoy meeting and talking with the artist, as this adds to their appreciation of both the piece they own and the artist’s related body of work.

* Original is not necessarily expensive: Original, interesting works are available in a range of prices. Rather than applying your art budget to acquire a mere reproduction, consider what original works are available at a similar price (eg; from a community gallery or charity art auction). Also, as many art galleries are willing to offer layby or other payment plans, even more expensive works can be attainable.

* Keep an eye on potential upside: Original works, by virtue of their uniqueness, have a better prospect of increasing in value than commercially produced art prints. Thus the original work you bought simply because it appealed to you may, over time, become a work worth many times more than its original purchase price.

* Enjoy the process: While it may take time to find original works you connect with, seeking out those unique, original pieces can be an enjoyable way to spend your time (warning: it can become an addictive hobby!) In the process, you will make new discoveries about art and the art world, all of which will add to your growing knowledge and appreciation of this rich and fascinating field.

So, instead of filling that space on the wall with a pleasant mass-produced print, consider taking a little more time to look around for an original work that will 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.