This Is What Happened When People Wanted My Art
Jessica Peterson

I’ve been collecting art and artists for a long time. Yes, artists. Sometimes, you love an artists body of work so much you need to own an original piece, something the artist touched, so that you can feel more connected.

I’ve bought art many different ways. Sometimes off the internet from a gallery. Sometimes eBay. Sometimes from a friend. Sometimes in a gallery. And, sometimes directly from the artist.

One type of art I buy is graffiti. Often from artists who haven’t made the leap to the gallery and representation. This can be especially challenging. But, the hunt is part of the experience and sometimes I value it as much as the art.

I’ve encountered the two different artists you speak of. The ones that sell. And, the ones that don’t. Prying the art from the artist who doesn’t sell is a long process. You need to be patient and respectful of the artists feelings. Tuck away the offer and revisit it later on. Sometimes you get lucky. Once a long sought piece is acquired, the acquisition becomes internalized in the feelings of the piece along with whatever emotion was there all along.

The art itself is a living breathing thing for me. Some will buy art. Place it on the wall. And, forget about it. It’s as if there was an empty space that just needed to be filled. When I buy art, it usually sits for a while before it goes up on a wall. After it goes up, it may move around until it feels like it’s in the right spot. It may go up, come down and go up a few times in the course of my ownership. After a few years I might decide to sell it. People change. Feeling about art change. Art should not be static and forgotten. Sometimes, it needs a new home.

All in all, art should move you. You should have a visceral emotion when looking at it. Or, even just knowing that you own it in a closet somewhere. When the emotion has passed, it’s time to let go.

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