Art is a story. It is your history, your future, a depiction of a present age, and with each piece comes a powerful and personal journey. So how do you go about selecting these storytellers? The first thing to decide on is a price range and to stick to it. Not everyone can afford the finest art, but everyone deserves to have something special bring life into their home.
Secondly, look at which walls in your house create the biggest canvas for a statement, then decide on the size of the statement you want to make. Don’t be afraid to fill a wall with a piece, it will be a dramatic statement for sure, but one you will not regret. Look at your house as an art piece and mirror it: for example, put vertical art on vertical walls, or hang smaller pieces together to create one big articulation. Lean pieces against the wall on your sideboard and shelves, or stack them along the floor for that New York loft feel. Art does not always need to be on a wall.
The colour of art does matter depending on the expression you would like to make. Bold black, white and grey photography can be a herculean statement in a room. However, realism can bring a lovely sophistication and beauty into one’s space, whether it be a Vermeeresque portrait of softly smudged hues, or a landscape that drags you into the memory of childhood road trips, as seas of wheat flash past your window, or the open expanse of green that seems never ending. If modernity is more your thing and thoughts of Franz Kline or Mondrian make you itch with excitement then choose pieces that scream of shapes, lines and colours that say nothing, yet everything at the same time.
Buying on a budget (the search begins)
- Unsung Art is an amazing online store that specialises in affordable art. It has a phenomenal selection of works by various artists in a wide variety of mediums, for example acrylic, charcoal, embroidery, collage, ink, mixed, oils, pen, pencil, photography and water colour. The choice is yours; the world is at your feet (so to speak).
- Wolves Cafe tends to have an ever-changing array of art to choose from. Various artists show there and it tends to change every few weeks; everyone from illustrations by Shaun Hill to drawings by Marsi van de Heuvel.
- Buying privately from up-and-coming artists is also another great option. Maria Magdalena Atelier is one of the greatest illustrators around. She is based in Cape Town and sells at places like The Drawing Room Cafe. However, you can buy her pieces online from R500 to R1,000 a piece. Lorraine Loots does the most beautifully detailed tiny illustrations in circles. She sells these at around R1,000 a drawing.
- Superbalist offers a mix of bright novelty pop art and wall posters; these are mostly things that you are likely to chop and change according to season and trend as they are cheap and cheerful at R99 a piece.
The higher end (the search continues)
- If you are swinging in a slightly higher market and you see art as an asset for your home, The David Krut Gallery in Parkwood stocks a small selection of the beautifully eccentric. It has a range of artists from up-and-coming people, all the way to pieces by William Kentridge. So the prices do vary depending on the artist you are looking at.
- Interested in fine art or sculpture and would like to take the plunge into a big buy? Cherie de Villiers Gallery in Hyde Park shopping centre stocks some of the finest art in the country, all created by esteemed artists such as Dmitry Nikashin, Peter Hall, Hannes du Plessis and Laurence Chait.
When choosing art, whether you see it as an asset or just purely decoration, always go with what you love, follow your instincts and stick to your guns. After all, you are the one who has to live with it.