Curious as to the motives of art buyers around the world, I did a little Google search. I came up with an article from The Economist titled “The Art Market: Why Buy Art?” The article cited a study that questioned whether the motivation for buying art was pleasure based or profit based. Only a tenth of the participants interviewed said that they bought art simply as an investment. Although art collectors listed a number of reasons they bought art, none of them listed a strong emotional connection to a particular piece as a motivating factor. Feelings of cultural superiority, social distinction, quests to fill spiritual voids, and buying “highs” were all listed as reasons for art purchases.
Your relationship with a piece of art work begins when you buy it (for whatever reason) and doesn’t end until the art is given away, sold, or lost. For this reason, the selling of artwork is particularly painful. Many sellers, according to The Economist, suffer from remorse and feelings of guilt. Selling art work is associated with debt and economic hardship and the bond that you have with that piece is broken. And those that have a reputation for “flipping” art are shunned in the art world. These “players” of the art world cheapen each piece they buy for profit. But I guess anytime you mix money and beauty things get a little weird and there will always be those people, trying to make a buck or million. We can only deal with them the same we deal with the other scavengers of the world – ignore them and be satisfied with the fact that our love is deeper than money, and for that reason, our art is much richer than they could ever imagine.