Whether it is an art collector or simply an admirer, personal preference is usually the deciding factor when selecting artwork to buy. So, with that in mind, can you ever purchase contemporary art as a gift for someone? While it is a challenge, for your nearest and dearest, gifting contemporary art can be a wonderful creative bond between you and the recipient. So, how do you make sure that you get it right? Follow these steps for how to gift contemporary art for Christmas.
Spend time in their home
Before purchasing any art, it is a good idea to spend time in the recipient’s home and learning as much as you can about their tastes, style and space they have for art. You may notice it is a specific medium, artist or size of artwork that they like. Look for the links and similarities, and you’ll be on the right path for success.
From the colours of the interior décor to the tones and shades that the recipient naturally gravitates too, their colour choice will have a significant impact on the art you purchase for them. You don’t simply have to buy artwork in their favourite colour, but understand what colour means to them. People will have different relationships to colour and the emotions behind the shade. For example, an all-grey piece may seem inspiring and beautifully melancholic to one person but dull and depressing to another.
There have been many fascinating studies on what art means to certain people. For example, in one study of art and gender, researchers found that men typically focus more on the artist, their background, reputation and talent. Conversely, women would more often judge the artwork in its merits alone, thinking about the quality and the aesthetics, more than the backstory of the artist.
While this certainly isn’t the case for everyone, it is vital to get to know what the recipient cares strongly about when choosing art. For example, is it the backstory, the emotion or the beauty of the piece which matters most to them?
You’ll know when you see it
If you have done your research, start visiting galleries, art shops and searching online for contemporary artists. When you begin browsing work with the recipient in mind, you’ll quickly tune out to all the work that wouldn’t suit them. You’ll know when you find the perfect piece for them if it makes you think of them when you look at it.
If you cannot find the perfect piece of contemporary art to gift your loved one, then there are lots of ways you can gift art without buying an artwork. Many galleries will offer gift vouchers for future visits. Alternatively, you may find an evening class for art or perhaps the opportunity to join an art group or society which makes trips to art events.
Remember, if you are in doubt about whether a recipient will like a piece, then it may be less risky to choose an alternative gift. When it comes to contemporary art, you need to be sure.
Final top tips for gifting contemporary art
- Originals or limited edition reproductions will be higher-quality than mass-produced options
- Postcard-sized artwork can be a great first art gift if you have a limited budget
- A trip to a gallery with the recipient will tell you more about their love of art
- Make the artwork presentable when gifting, such as framing or mounting the piece
- Always check the returns policy when you buy the artwork.