Fine Art: The Perfect Gift

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Holiday shopping comes with the usual stresses, such as who to shop for and, more importantly, what do you possibly get them this year? When you’re ready to get a little creative and find that perfect item for a loved one or close friend, fine art is something that could really make a lasting impression on the holiday season. You might be thinking, “How can fine art be a good gift idea?” or “Isn’t fine art very expensive?”

Gifting fine art is an exceptional idea, granted you are choosing a piece that will be loved and appreciated by the recipient. Fine art comes in various forms, whether it’s a beautiful sculpture or mesmerizing painting. In order to ensure that the time and money you are putting into the gift is going to be well received, you should follow these suggested gifting guidelines.

What is Their Personal Style?
If they love Rodin and you gift them with an abstract piece, chances are it might not be such a good fit. Before shopping, be sure to get a good idea of the personal taste and style of your loved one or friend. You can get some good clues by taking a look around their house. Do they love modern art or impressionism, landscapes or urban art? Take into consideration what items they have around the home and use that as a foundation for your fine art search. For example, if they love the architecture of New York City’s Chrysler Building, you might decide to go in the direction of art deco or even a building-inspired piece.

Choose a Medium
When it comes to the idea of gifting fine art, you don’t need to feel responsible for picking up a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Instead, think of fine art as an exceptional piece of visual art designed to be appreciated and displayed. For one person, a fine art piece could be a pop art print similar to that of Roy Lichtenstein or Andy Warhol, or it could also be a quality reproduction of an American West-inspired bronze sculpture created by Frederic Remington. Whether you want to find a painting, print or sculpture, choose a style that best fits the aesthetic of your recipient. After all, art is meant to be viewed or incorporated into the overall décor.

Search for a Unique Piece
Art can be found anywhere, from a notable gallery or even a local art show at a university. If you’re unsure where to start, avid art collectors often like to browse smaller galleries and art shows for spectacular and unique pieces. Purchasing a print or painting from an unknown artist now could really be priceless one day if that artist’s popularity grows. In addition to finding an ideal art piece, browsing local art shows or galleries can help you narrow down your options or fine tune what it is you’re looking for in terms of style or color. Art gallery experts do suggest one thing: never buy art because of the investment factor; purchase art because it evokes a certain emotion or because it is visually enchanting.

Let Them Pick Out a Piece
OK, well, not exactly. If you simply have no idea what kind of art a loved one or friend likes, one way to find out is to take them to an art gallery or museum under the guise of its being a fun day out. During the excursion, try to get an idea of what pieces they love and what they don’t. Once you get a feel for what their aesthetic is you can either go back to purchase it later (if it’s at an art gallery) or use the museum trip as inspiration once you start shopping. Gallery owners encourage you to ask questions during a visit; if you don’t see something that jumps out at you or grabs your attention, ask the gallery owner for tips and suggestions. Often they have plenty of art that is not on display and are more than willing to show you additional pieces.

Don’t Buy Online If You Can Help It
While it is easier to do holiday shopping–or shopping in general–online, fine art is one area where it’s best to see it up close. You want to make sure you are getting what you pay for and that if you want a canvas piece it’s not delivered to the door on paper, or vice versa. When purchasing art, examine paint or other media to ensure it is quality and clean; the paper or canvas should be in good condition. You should also ask if the price includes hanging hardware or frame.
Shopping for fine art might sound a bit frightening, but it doesn’t have to be. Take time and research to find the perfect piece for your recipient! HLM

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