When Ted and I got married, we gave each other gifts. He got me a Chagall limited-edition signed print of The Bride Under the Huppah.
The sweet thing about Ted's gift is that he bought it long before we got engaged, knowing that one day we would get married and this would be his gift to me. I love it more than words can express. But this print is one of the only pieces of art that we haven't bought together. I guess because art hangs in OUR house and we both have to look at it, he feels we should be picking it out together. There have been a few exceptions, like this amazing Elliot Puckett print I bought solo, online at the Conde Nast store, after seeing it in Vogue:
And for some reason maps don't fall under this rule, I guess because we both love them, and so our dining room walls are covered with maps from places that are important to one or both of us, bought by whoever happened to see it/find it first (usually me. I'm just sayin'). I am not a huge fan of the Buy-Art-Together Rule, because I believe that I have wonderful taste and should be allowed full discretion when purchasing items for the house, no matter how expensive, but I respect and follow it, even though there are so many things out there that I want very badly for my walls, because I believe it to be a good Art Rule.
Here is another good Art Rule: Don't buy something unless you can already see where it will go in your house. There is nothing sadder than a wonderful print or painting stuffed in an attic or leaning against the wall in a closet because even though you love it, there isn't really anywhere for it to go in your house. Well, that's not true, there are a lot of of things that are sadder than that, including but not limited to the starvation in Somalia, single mothers who work long hours at low-paying, back-breaking jobs to feed their kids, and... As you can see, my mood-stabilizing medication is late this month. Let's move on.
There is a third Art Rule, and this is the most important one. Don't buy art that doesn't make your heart sing. I don't fucking care how under-priced it is, how famous you think the artist will become in the next 10 years, how much you think the piece will increase in value. Do not buy something and hang it on the wall in your house or put it on your coffee table or bookshelf unless you are in love with it! (If you are a professional art dealer, ignore this rule, and probably all the others, and what are you doing here anyway?)
Art changes your life because you look at it every day and whatever mood or thoughts it produces in you have an effect on you, however small. And because hanging something on your wall is a commitment. It's not easy to hang some of this shit, especially the heavy ones with the the two hanger things on each side that have to be exactly even for the frame to be even when you're finished. And taking the time to measure, and hammer, and make holes in your walls, and hang something up means you care about where you live, that you want to be surrounded by images that make you happy, or make you think, or make you FEEL, and that's a good thing. It also sends the message, to you and to everyone that comes into your home, that you have settled in and plan to stay there for a while.
Because this has been many words and few pictures (BORING), I am going to end with some of the things I would buy if I didn't have to try and follow the first two rules, because all of these pieces, and almost everything by these artists (including Kate Lewis, but I am too stupid to figure out how to show her work here) makes me happy inside:
#47 and #57 by Laura Gurton.
Out in the Rain and This Perfect Day by Todd Hunter
Bloom by Meredith Pardue
Abstract Landscape by Tracey Nicholas
There are many more artist and works that I love, but I want to hear from YOU. Tell me about your favorite artists, leave links to your own work in the comments, lead us all ( and by "us all" I mean me and my three readers*) to wonderful works of art that will change our lives.
*Shut up. I could have three readers. You don't know.