The Ethics of Art Buying: How to Ensure You're Supporting Authentic Artists
When you buy an art, it not only involves your emotions or appreciation towards the art, but also the moral considerations. Ethical art buying is basically the moral values that guide individuals or institutions when they are purchasing artwork. It is not just about what kind of artwork you like, it involves a lot more things. The artist’s intention behind the artwork, the historical and cultural context behind the art also matter. The artwork that you purchase, also impacts various stakeholders. To ensure there is proper stewardship of artistic heritage, you should only indulge in ethical art buying practices. It supports the artists and promotes cultural diversity.
Understanding about authentic artWhen we talk about authentic art, then it is created from the heart by the artist. They give their blood and soul to that piece of work. There are a lot of emotions and feelings attached to it. It is challenging for the artist. It can even make you think or feel the world in a different or new way like you would have never seen before.
What constitutes an authentic artistWell, answering this question is a bit tough. And also, there is unlikely to be just one answer to it. Art constitutes creativity and the artists are creative folks. There are some great qualities associated with artists who are authentic. These are mainly:
1. They express themselves strongly
2. They are committed to their artistic vision
3. They are willing to take risks
4. They wish to connect with others through their art.
Authenticity is also about the reflection of the personal life of the artist and the values they believe in. A lot of artists make art inspired from their life or experiences they had. Authenticity can be seen in the work easily when it is reflecting the beliefs of the artist. Many times artists make artwork on political or cultural issues they believe in.
Ethical considerations in art buyingThere are some ethical considerations while buying art and you should stick to them. They are:
ProvenanceYou should consider knowing the history of the ownership of the artwork you are about to purchase. This is the provenance of a work of art. Make sure you get to know that this artwork is not stolen or looted in any way. How will you know this? Easy. You can ask the gallery owner or whoever the dealer is, for a provenance certificate of the artwork.
Working conditionsThe artwork you are buying should help the artist and provide support for him/her. It shouldn't be the opposite of that. Therefore, it becomes important to know the conditions in which the artists work. How are they being treated, fairly or not? Ensure you get this information and you can check the review of the artist to know this. Or you can even contact the artist.
Environmental impactYou should think about the environment even when you're buying art. Try to go for sustainable artwork. Try to avoid artwork which is made of unsustainable practices. Try to select artworks in which the materials that have been used to make are eco friendly. It would be great if renewable energy has been used to make the work. Or the artwork has been made up from recycled stuff.
Artistic integrityYou should stick to what you believe in. You should buy artwork that connects with you and you feel a connection with it. It shouldn't be just another art addition for an art collector. It is better to wait until you find the best one for you.
Financial responsibilityThe artwork you are buying should not make a hole in your pocket. Make sure you check your budget and then buy anything that fits into it. Because buying art is also a financial responsibility.
Role of art institutions and buyersThe artists create masterpieces by working really hard day and night. They put their creative soul and sweat in it. Artists should be supported in different ways, financially and in other senses too. This mainly can be done by buyers and art institutions. They can support the artists by purchasing art from emerging and mid-career artists. The artists who haven't had the taste of fame yet. And buyers should indulge in diverse artworks from artists of different cultural forms. Institutions can provide them with opportunities to develop and sharpen their skills and grow in their careers further. Artists and institutions should always try to collaborate.
Importance of ethics in art buyingWhy should you even care about ethics in art buying? Well, the answer is, to support artists. When you buy artwork ethically, then the artists get paid fairly and promptly. The art market stays sustainable and the artists get the right treatment. When you follow ethics in art buying, then it supports the artists as well as the community in which they live in.
Supporting authentic artistsYou should stand to support authentic and living artists. In this way you support their originality. These are the ways in which you can support authentic artists:
1. You should buy artworks directly from them or from the galleries who represent such artists.
2. You should try to go to exhibitions
3. You should try to donate to their organisations
4. If you have time, then you can volunteer
5. Ofcourse, talk about their amazing work with other people, spread the word.
6. By doing these things, you can support authentic artists for sure.
You should always stick to ethics and rules even when it is just about art. Purchasing artwork by following our ethical duties towards art buying does a ton of good for the artists. Approach galleries where they are treated fairly and you get unique, authentic work. It is great for everyone. By practising these things, you can support authentic artists and get authentic artwork.