Mass Produced vs Unique Art
Hi everyone! Kelsey here. I wanted to take a few minutes to talk about the dilemma of mass produced artwork (things that are sold at TJ Maxx, Target & Home Goods, for example) versus purchasing art directly from artists (via galleries, their personal websites, Instagram etc).
Now - there are two sides of the story here. For one thing, a GREAT way for artists to make money is to sell their works to a big box store like Home Goods. They receive a portion of the profits from their work, their name is featured and it's a GREAT way for them to gain some exposure. I have NO problem with this! If you find a piece that you love from a store like this, make sure that they clearly mention the artist's name, see if it is part of a limited release - and make sure that the artwork really speaks to you. Don't just buy it because it's trendy and fills a big empty space on your wall. Art should make you smile or think when you look at it- it shouldn't be a space filler!!
I understand the #1 issue here is cost. A large 30"x40" canvas at Target can be under $50! What is better than that? Well - that's where Piece. comes in. Maybe you won't get a 30"x40" painting - but you'll get an amazing piece of art at a REALLY good price. Plus - my favorite trick in the book? Purchase a piece of art at a smaller size and then mat/frame it to the size you want! I think a thick, wide mat modernizes any piece AND fills space AND you've now supported an artist AND your piece will be special to you. Win, win, win and win!
To prove my point, here are a few examples of work that are currently on sites like TJ Maxx and Target. NO DISRESPECT to the artists featured here. These pieces are funky & cool - they would look great on anyones' wall! I just think there is something so special about knowing that the artist touched brush to canvas on THAT canvas. That they worked with other art enthusiasts to give their piece exposure. That their talent and passion made it's way to YOUR wall and that that artwork will be passed down & shared with others! I don't think that magic happens with the mass produced works from big box stores.
For the same price - you could support an emerging artist (the sample piece below is by Piece. co-founder, Devin DeLaney) and frame it however you please!
Animal portraits are incredibly in fashion these days...we love them! Rather than a generic animal portrait that many others will have in their homes, why not one of these amazing prints by Piece. artist Leah Fulton Porter?! She even offers custom portraits - get one of your very own pup! And did you notice the price....you SAVE $20 bucks! Come on..there's NO downside!
Now this example is a bit different - but I still think the investment is 100000% worth it. For $70, you can get a fairly large print of an oil/acrylic piece from Target. This painting is undoubtedly beautiful - the colors are serene and soft. But if your budget for art can extend to that $70 price point - why spend it at Target? Why not spend it on an artist whose work makes you pause? We love this piece by Hannah Ayers - yes it is much smaller but there are so many creative ways to feature it in your home where it will STILL make a major impact.
Calling all color-lovers! We love a piece of graffiti or spray paint work - they look incredible in homes with modern, minimalist vibes. Again, no disrespect to this peace sign artist - it's funky and fun, but why not purchase a piece that NO ONE else has?! One of my favorite things about this work by J. Mike Kuhn is that it requires no frame! So yes, you are spending $120.00 but there is no additional cost for framing! AND, you're supporting Mike's career as a working artist!
This is obviously somewhat of a controversial subject because at the end of the day - artists need to make money! And if they can follow their dreams and support themselves by selling their work to Target....they should!
My point is this:
The more and more we purchase directly from artists - the less they have to sell TO the Targets of the world. So let's encourage the artists in our lives to keep making one-of-a-kind pieces by supporting them financially AND by shouting them out in public forums - whether that be Instagram or at dinner with friends!
Thoughts? Let us know in the comments!