Why People Buy Art: Five Personalities of Art Collectors

If there’s one thing that every piece of art has in common, it’s that no two pairs of eyes ever view them the same way. And that’s exciting. It showcases how profoundly personal the act of purchasing and collecting art can be. All of your major life events, each little nook and cranny of your personality impacts your artistic decisions. It’s fascinating and our choices can reveal much and more about our character. With that, let’s hazard a few perceptions about what compels us to collect art at all.

Pure Appreciation of an Artwork

They say true love can be realized in a single life-changing and heart-stopping moment; art is no different. Impulse purchases can say a lot about our true feelings towards something. You can lay your eyes on a piece of art and have it resonate within you.

We all have our emotional baggage which influences - or even dictates - our choice of art. When a piece truly inspires you, it stirs up some serious internal emotion and leads to the most genuine, passionate and honest artistic purchases we’ll ever make. When you decorate a room with a piece of art which you can connect to emotionally, it can feel like closure, or the filling of a void you hadn’t previously felt.

An interesting report suggests that 75% of people said that “enjoyment” was the key to their favourite artistic purchases.

Investment in Your Own Future

While it may make up a minority of art purchases, there are still plenty of individuals out there whose motives are more financial in nature. The end goal, in simple terms, is to make a profit. But how do you judge an item’s potential future value?

You have some art collectors who act – in a way – like patrons, buying artwork from promising artistic talents in the hope that they will “hit the big time”. If they do, then suddenly their lower-end painting has become an “early original” by a celebrated artist. That, of course, can mean a big sale.

Perhaps you find a striking image which encapsulates a remarkable event of our time – like Donald Trump’s Presidential election – which, when it becomes part of history in a few years or decades, may be a powerful reminder which fetches a high price.

It’s a mercurial game to play, but most art collectors get an adrenaline-like thrill when making these long-term investment purchases.

Social or Political Statement

We live in a world where global news feels like local coverage. It’s everywhere, and powerful social movements are always forming, expanding and - usually - quieting down again.

Many artists draw inspirations from current events, and choosing to purchase a certain piece may be an endorsement of a line of thinking you agree with, or perhaps a nod to their courage in creating it.


Entering Into a Community


For some, buying art offers you a chance to join a community of like-minded people. Those who enjoy art for its power, its grace, its emotion, its beauty – whatever the reason, fostering relationships with those who share your artistic appreciation is hugely valuable.

A great example is the art fayre. Here, many visitors will be reluctant to leave without making some sort of purchase. It makes them feel disconnected; somehow removed from that communal attachment that comes from shared passions.

It’s similar to how some individuals will not buy art based purely on appearance. Rather, they want the whole experience: they need a backstory to the art, the artist, its intentions…anything which enhances the piece. An artistic community ties in with this idea of the art going beyond just the image itself.


Symbolic Purchase. Power


For some, buying and displaying art is like a conquest: a dominant feature piece which lets all of your guests know…well, something about you. What’s interesting is that this something can be almost anything.

Perhaps it’s about displaying wealth, or status. For someone who understand the world of art - or perhaps one unique area of artistry - better than others, they might aim to demonstrate that superiority by mounting a fine piece of work behind their desk.

There are countless motivations behind choosing a piece of art. At Art Acacia, we empathise with the “pure appreciation” personality. Owning art is a deeply personal, almost sacred thing, and each entry in our collection gives us that warm, unified feeling you just can’t find anywhere else.

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