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How you can inform yourself about art and artists

The often-cited advice, “buy what you like,” is correct in principle, but for a person with little experience this advice is insufficient for being satisfied with a work of art for a longer period of time. It is important and helpful to first develop an “art-sense.” For this, particular experience and time are required: You can obtain sensitivity for good art only through practicing: looking, hearing, speaking and reading are indispensable activities.

Visit young- as well as renowned- art fairs and galleries. Visit exhibitions. Make comparisons between art which is shown in young galleries and art shown in established galleries, even if you cannot afford any purchases. It will help you to develop your own opinion.

If you are visiting a gallery, don’t be surprised if the gallery staff hardly notices you. That way the staff gives you time to look at all the works of art without any rush or distraction. As much as it might make gallery visitors uneasy at the beginning, after some “acclimatisation” it turns out to be a real benefit: you don’t have the feeling of being pressed to purchase something as soon as you enter the gallery. If you need any information about the artists or works of art, the staff will of course assist you with answers to your questions; often times you’ll also find handouts and price lists at the reception.

Postgraduate and undergraduate student shows at art colleges, or by a group of emerging-artist organised exhibitions, are a good opportunity to acquire insight into younger art streams and to meet several artists at the same time.

Read art-magazines; try several and chose the one with which you feel most comfortable. Look for art critics in newspapers and art magazines. While searching, you should give priority to “real” art critics, compared to those that offer only a mere description of an event, one that is perhaps even based on a press release created by the organisers themselves.

Read books: especially those that give a broader overview and which place contemporary artists in a more wide-ranging context. Be careful of art guidebooks that promise to offer ways of getting rich through art. From our experience, the intention of such books is to make the author rich…instead of providing the readers with praxis-relevant knowledge.

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The Frieze Art Fair in London is among one of the best fairs for contemporary art
Student show at an art academy: Visitors are walking from classroom to classroom to see the student’s artworks. Paintings are also exhibited in the corridors