And I’ll show you my fake art…..ok, so I don’t have any fake books on my bookshelves, and I’m guessing most of you don’t either. But how many of us have “fake” art hanging on our walls? We’re not talking about art your kids made or that tasteful collage of family photos. I’m talking about that print you own – you know the one, it’s your favorite painting, it hangs in a museum and so you bought the print and it now hangs in your home. I’m not embarrassed to save I have several of those in my home – and they’ve been the inspiration for many a blog post. Here’s the rub though, while those prints are nice, the reason I like them is not because of any aesthetic beauty they contain in themselves. It’s because they remind me of an amazing work of art, a museum worthy work of art. They are not actual art, so in that sense, they are fake.
I’m also fortunate enough to own two pieces of original art in my home. One, my husband and I picked up years ago while on a wine-tasting vacation. I don’t know the artist or even the painting’s name. I do know that when I look at it, I’m reminded of a host of memories we’ve made over trips to wineries together. When others see it, they know a little something about us.
We also own a piece of Laura’s art. In this case, the piece reminds me of her and my friendship with her. When I look at it, I’m immensely grateful for the opportunity I have to work with her and the gift that she shares through her art. On a more artistic note, the painting makes me think – where is that church building? Is it Spain? Is it Italy? I like to imagine it in either place. I can let my imagination run a bit wild as I gaze at the scene. There is a depth to that painting that is absent in my prints.
In a previous post, I remarked (with my tongue firmly in cheek) that you should not own or display any artwork if you wanted to raise an art-less child. That point got me to thinking about what is displayed in my own home, and then later I read a post a friend of mine had shared on Facebook that further got me to thinking. Do we value owning original art?
I know, my immediate response it “art is too expensive, I could never afford any.” I will grant that that objection may be true for most of us, if we’re talking about a Monet or Picasso or a Warhol. But what about that little art shop downtown? You know the one you always walk past, maybe you’ve even stopped in a few times. Or that booth at the craft fair you went to – the one where you saw all those amazing paintings of you local scenery. Why don’t we buy them? We don’t buy fake books, we stock our shelves with the real thing.
Fake Art vs. Real Art
What is the value to filling our walls with the real thing over fake art? I could easily do another list post on that, as there are many reasons why I am becoming convinced that real art is worth it.For this post, I’ll just limit myself to a few.
First having something handmade in our home brings a depth, a warmth, a “homey”ness that mass manufactured goods and prints simply cannot. Original art is by definition handmade – someone had to actual put brush or pen or pencil to canvas or paper. Someone had to sculpt clay or metal or wood into that object. And in so doing, their art then brings that craft into your home and sets the mood, the tone for your space in a deeply personal way.
Secondly, displaying original artwork in our homes affords us a unique opportunity of personal self-expression. Why that piece? Why that artist? There is always a reason. If we’re going to take the time to select a piece of art, and invest the money in purchasing it, that decision will not be random or haphazard. The final result will be an expression of who you are, the things you enjoy, the person you are.
Third, having original art in your home stimulates conversation, imagination and creativity. Visitors in your home will undoubtedly ask about the work, or you can ask their thoughts on it. You can spark some rather interesting discussions as people talk about what they like (or don’t like) about the art. Original art can push us to use our imaginations, to think outside of the normal mundaneness of our daily lives. Our brains need to be active. Having the creations of others around us inspires us to be creative in our own ways. When our space is less sterile, so are we.
What about you?
I want to encourage you to linger a bit longer the next time you wander past that art shop or that booth at the craft fair. Or stop by the gallery and store here on our website. Yes, original art can be expensive. But I do think it’s worth it. What do you think? What other reasons might you add to the list of the benefits of owning original art? Do you currently have any in your home? I’d love to hear your thoughts and stories.