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7 Tips for kickstarting your own collection

Tappan's Co-Founder, Chelsea Neman, gives 7 Tips for kickstarting your own collection:

Peggy Guggenheim in 1961 at her home in Venice

Remember that art is personal. As the saying goes, “Buy with your eyes, not with your ears.” When you start looking for works, trust what you’re drawn to. Don’t buy it because you think you should; every collection should be unique.

Start getting involved. Go to gallery openings and fairs. The more you see, the easier it will become to work out what you like.

Feel comfortable asking questions about artists and their work. When it comes to art, there is no wrong interpretation of the work. Spend time learning about the artists you’re investing in. If you’re serious about the work and you can’t find what you’re looking for online, reach out to their gallery and ask to set up a studio visit.

Only spend what you’re comfortable with. One of the founding principles of Tappan was that great art can be bought at any price point.

Document your purchases. The more information you have on the context of your purchase, the better. In years to come, the history of where the work has been, the book from the show it was a part of, or the note the artist wrote you will all increase its value.

Ask yourself, “Why am I drawn to this piece?” Does it make you see life differently? Does it inspire you? Do you like the artist’s technique? As you continue to ask yourself why you’ve purchased the art you have, you will not only learn about yourself, but also become more thoughtful in your future purchases.

Just do it. Once you start buying art, you’ll become more comfortable with the process and then you’ll begin to see what direction you want to take your collection in. Great collections are well thought-out, but first and foremost, you’ve got to develop your taste.