“Buy a picture a day” Peggy Guggenheim

Today when I was putting golden leaf on ink paintings of tulips, I randomly remembered Peggy and her quote, which I first read on an exhibition at Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. With this habit she built a complete collection of artworks from artists of her time. Like Max Ernst, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, amongst others — who at the time hadn’t even been identified as great artists.* We may think that she was lucky to have been living there and then with such remarkable talents, but actually the time and opportunities are no different now. With online galleries and even social media like Instagram the selection is actually more wide and accessible than ever before. 

For example, have you noticed a friend or someone you don’t know personally on Instagram doing art already for five, ten or more years in a row? They probably continue doing that, but know that you can be an assurance that they do. Specially when their art moves you and you want to see more.

If you haven’t yet, then contact the artist. Ask the questions you have about their art. Simple questions. Ask for a studio visit or where it would be possible to see their original work. Ask if the work is for sale. If the price is too high for you, ask if they have a smaller piece or tell your budget. As for an artist (at least for me), it is the greatest feeling to know that the art you make will be in a place where it is valued and with people who are inspired by it. And even if you are not interested in buying, show when you are moved by a work of art. It matters! 

Although, artists (usually) don’t do art for liking. Art is free, meaning it’s free from having to be beautiful or ugly or meaningful or meaningless. But behind the art is always an artist, a human being with feelings. Just saying.

 

Understand what you like, what resonates with you, not what is trendy. Art collecting has a great business side and can be a smart way to increase investments, but collecting is also an art on its own. Peggy Guggenheim is a perfect example:

She was a unique entity and in the high-rolling world of twentieth century art patronage, she bought art not as an investment, but because it moved her. “I soon knew where every painting in Europe could be found,” she wrote in her autobiography, “and I managed to get there, even if I had to spend hours going to a little country town to see only one.” Without Guggenheim the contemporary art world, as we now know it, would look very different.*

Art collecting is a delicate process. It doesn’t matter if you like art from the 16th century or contemporary, what matters is YOUR taste and what moves YOU. This kind of personal relationship with art can widen your own perspective of life multiple times more than art that can be hip, but doesn’t bring goosebumps over your skin. Like with everything else in life, know to ask advice, but trust yourself in the end.   

Art is timeless, but also reflects the time when its made. Collecting contemporary art or being a patron for a living artist can be exciting in a way that its a possibility to be part of the change in the art world. Its about seeing what your beloved artist is capable of when their base needs are covered and they can thrive not only survive! It’s a live process where you as a collector or patron can make a direct difference. Also, finding an emerging artist before the rest of the world is like buying Bitcoin in 2009 versus now. In respect for the collectors who have invested certain amount for certain art, the artist or representing gallery can not sell their new work cheaper than previous. 

It’s about seeing what your beloved artist is capable of when their base needs are covered and they can thrive not only survive!

Said that, I also tell you a secret: no artist I know of does art for money! There are hundreds of other more profitable things to do than art. Even the really successful ones don’t do it for money. But for a sustainable path, money is part of the equasion. A tool like a brush or a pencil. Iki-gai.

For a conclusion, life is an abstract flow of events. The ink drawings of tulips that I covered later with golden leaf are made during a drawing club, which this week took place at an art collector’s home. When painting, I was surrounded by original works of one of my favorite artists Eduard Wiiralt and was inspired by a collector who is aware and has own taste for art. But maybe I got into this moment of painting tulips because years ago I had been to Wiiralt’s grave at Père-Lachaise in Paris and left drawn flowers and a thank you note on his final resting place. Or maybe this text and events originated from a museum visit long-long time ago, when I was looking Wiiralt’s “Berber girl with camel” and thought: “All I want is to do that”. 

Art is a powerful thing when you let it in. 

“A painting is not a picture of an experience, but is the experience.” – Mark Rothko

Despite all the rules, I decided to celebrate Peggy Guggenheim and her passion for buying art daily with putting my ink paintings of tulips with golden leaf for sale in a price range 24 EUR – 120 EUR (tax included) + shipping to inspire new collectors to emerge or advanced ones to take over the habit of buying a picture a day. Meaning, you can buy one with 24 EUR, or if you like with the original price 120 EUR or a price in between or more. Click on any of the images on this post or go to the Shop:

Please buy only if art resonates with you and/or it matches your collection. If you are interested in collecting, but haven’t found an artist or a type of art for your taste, feel free to contact me. I know some wonderful Estonian artists who I could recommend, as well artists from abroad. In my view there is no competition among artists, only connectivity.  

Having original art at home should be a human right:)

* https://www.thelondonlist.com/culture/peggy-guggenheim