Choosing an art piece is like falling in love. For some, it is a tingle at first sight. For others, it might be a captivating painting you visit again and again in a gallery because you cannot get it out of your mind.
While one's choice of art can be subjective, artworks add character to a home. Whether you are thinking about making your first purchase or already own several pieces, consider these factors when purchasing and displaying art.
1 Choosing artwork
Size and surroundings: Consider the dimensions of the artwork and whether it is proportionate to the furniture and walls. If you have a spacious living room with a statement sofa, for instance, an even larger painting will balance the look. Paintings that are too small may be lost in the space of a wide wall.
The effect on the space: Consider what you are hoping to achieve. Bold colours and oversized pieces will dominate a space, so it is best to display statement pieces alone. If you are looking to purchase an addition to an existing gallery wall, evaluate its size and colours so it does not overwhelm other pieces.
Also, if the other artworks in your display area are mostly in pastel tones, purchase a similarly light-hued painting so everything is in harmony.
2 Displaying your artwork
Weight of the artwork and frame: When displaying a heavy piece, ensure the nails or wall hooks can take the load. You do not want it to come crashing down.
Alternatively, hire a professional art hanger who knows the best materials and methods for hanging art based on size and weight.
Function: When positioned over a sofa or bed, a large painting frames the furniture, unifying the look and creating a focal point. Elsewhere, its statement-making power can jazz up empty walls.
Location: To preserve the artwork, keep it away from direct sunlight. Exposure can fade the pigments over time. For added protection, consider investing in a frame with museum-quality glass that filters out ultraviolet rays.
3 Caring for the artwork
The environment: To extend the life of a painting, pick a spot where the temperature is consistent and it is not exposed to excessive humidity or direct sunlight. Avoid areas with high levels of moisture, such as bathrooms and under air-conditioners.
Regular maintenance: Just as you would regularly service a car, get your art checked to ensure it is well maintained. This minimises damage from environmental conditions over time.
Get a smoke detector: Smoke can damage art, be it from a fire in the home or wafting in from a distance. Experts advise installing a smoke detector within 30m of your artwork.
4 Other tips
A good frame: A frame should enhance the artwork and complement its surroundings. Ensure the frame is made from acid-free material that will not damage a work over time. When in doubt, ask the gallery for advice.
Before you buy: Most galleries welcome repeat visits to see a painting before purchasing, so do not be pressured into buying something immediately.
This article first appeared in the April 2021 issue of Home & Decor, which is published by SPH Magazines.
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