Art In Your Apartment

By: Kevin Lloyd

What exactly is art? The longer you search for a definition, the more elusive it seems to become. For many people, art (for the purposes of decorating a home environment) is a clear-cut proposition. It is often framed and is typically a painting, poster, or print of some sort that is hung on a wall. To others, art does not fit into this neat, structured definition. For them, art is anything they want to call art. In other words, a Picasso hanging on a wall is just as much art as a strip of hundred-year-old wood removed from a barn during demolition. Both can be hung on a wall and admired. So one is just as much art as the other, to those who believe art can be any thing of beauty displayed in your space.

In the American Heritage Dictionary, art has nine definitions. My favorite defines it as "human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of nature." I love the idea that art "supplements" what exists around me. For me, this is what art truly does-adds to and enhances my environment.

HOW TO SELECT ART

If you think you aren't very good at selecting artwork, think again. I mean really think. Haven't you ever walked into someone's home and admired his or her art? (Try to remember the style, and that might be a good one for you.) Then again, haven't you ever walked into someone's home and hated the art they had on their walls? (Remember that style and try to stay away from it.)

My home has lots of inexpensive folk art sprinkled around on the walls. Some people walk in and rave over it all. Others walk in and say, "Oh, nice to see you hang up your kids' artwork. It's...um...nice." Oh well, to each his own.

So when you set out to buy artwork for your apartment, whether you're off to the flea market, yard sales, discount stores, or wherever, try to remember these tips:

·Color. Try to find art that works with the color of your walls, furnishings, curtains, and other things in your apartment. Many of us have had a piece of art that just doesn't seem to go with anything we own, haven't we?

·Size. If you're trying to fill a particular space, measure it out before you go shopping.

·Mood. If it makes you smile right away and it's in your price range, it might be right for you. If it makes you nervous or edgy or inspires other not-so-desired emotions, keep looking. Don't buy a piece of art just because the salesperson thinks it's great or because you like the frame or the colors used. Buy art that speaks to you, especially when you like what it's saying.

·Adaptability. Try to purchase art that can be used in different rooms, so redecorating (by just rearranging) will always be an option for you.

·Don't buy on impulse. If at all possible, go home and think about it for a while. The only mistakes I've ever made in buying art happened when I bought on impulse. (However, if you're shopping at flea markets or yard sales, you'll have to forget this rule.)

·Buy what you love. Who cares if you think a velvet rendering of dogs shooting pool is the best art in the world? Buy what you love, and it will look great in your space.

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