Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, April 18

Gapers Block

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anne / March 15, 2004 10:05 AM

I have bought three large B+W photographs. The first was from a fellow student and was pretty cheap. The two others were from a semi-professional artist friend so she let me barter for the first one (I paid in a scarf and 2 cheesecakes) and the second one (which I gave away as a present) I'm paying off in installments. I love having art by friends in my place. Right now, I'm really interested in photography, but later on, I could see myself having some really big pieces of art on the walls.

jenny / March 15, 2004 10:20 AM

I bought myself a piece for my birthday, which coincided with around-the-coyote this February. It's pastel and cost "too much"...but I hit the quarter-century mark, so what the heck.

Jake / March 15, 2004 10:30 AM

My wife worked in a gallery for a couple years and we used her discount to get a few pieces. It helps when you know that the artist is a nice, cool person. We even commissioned a guy to do a portrait of our wiener dog.

We also occasionally pick up small things at art fairs. Mostly woodblock prints for $20-40. Sometimes jewelry.

In A Moveable Feast, Hemingway writes about his poor years in Paris with his first wife and how they had the choice between either spending their money on food and clothes or on art. They wore old clothes, went hungry and bought art.

miss ellen / March 15, 2004 10:31 AM

haven't bought much art, but if i ever do, i'd love to buy a *small* chihuly glass piece.

i'm not much for typical art-you-hang-on-a-wall....i like music & have lots of concert-style posters & things of that nature.

Phineas / March 15, 2004 11:10 AM

Do people actually buy art? Because I've got some to sell.

I've bought a number of things over the years. You'd think I'd have some karma coming.

emily / March 15, 2004 11:19 AM

We have a few pieces given as gifts, and I have ideas inspired by gallery work that I just need to gather up enough energy to put on canvas. We're all about the DIY at my house.

Alice / March 15, 2004 11:37 AM

Yes. Photography. Prints. Ceramics. Jewelry. Textiles. I don't have a lot of money to spend on art, but I like to buy what I can -- especially if I see something I really like. Most of what I've bought has been very inexpensive -- under $75.

Alex / March 15, 2004 12:12 PM

Do people actually buy art? Because I've got some to sell.

Phineas, that's exactly what I was thinking!

I usually swap art with other artists, or we just have our own work hanging in our home. ( I paint and the husband is a photographer.) Although when I do buy stuff, it is usually directly from the artist than through a gallery.

Ray / March 15, 2004 12:40 PM

I have bought a photograph and a painting, and I have others that have been given to me. Generally, if I like something and it is under $300, I will seriously consider it.

Andrew / March 15, 2004 12:53 PM

Most of the art I've "sold" has been at charity auctions, and much of what I've bought has been at those sames auctions. Works out well, although obviously I've been a bit limited in my options.

Eamon / March 15, 2004 1:38 PM

Excluding written works? No, not really. I've bought a few photographs over the years and several extremely beautiful Chicago-related WPA prints from The Library of Congress but that's about it, by and large.

I think the only "real" art piece I've purchased was a commissioned Sam Brown (of explodingdog) painting for my wife. Oh, and a hand-crafted party dress, also for same.

steve sleeve / March 15, 2004 3:40 PM

i like screen printed posters; mostly of the concert variety (for example) ... most recently, these five are hanging up in my living room.

Ian / March 15, 2004 4:31 PM

No, never.

jmo / March 16, 2004 1:20 AM

Yes...wherever I have been in the world. Last November, my SO and I toted 2 salvaged wooden windows (full size!) from southwest China all the way back to Chicago. The owner was having new ones made but the old ones were so lovely. I am "the friend's patron" and artworks from friends adorned my home (the last one before this one...the one not under renovation.)

Anyone could and should be a patron of the one original artwork before age 30. It doesn't have to be an expensive auction piece! The one-of-a-kind, starving artist neighbor piece...the "here is your price and let's share this bottle of wine to celebrate it art buying experience" is to be savored, savored, savored.

Ian (but not 'that' Ian) / March 16, 2004 8:28 AM

Yes. We have bought a few bits and pieces, but not one tenth of what I would like to buy.

So far we have two paintings and sculpture at around $150 each, from the artist who lived next door in The Netherlands. One print from the Wells street art fair, which I am ashamed to say, still lives in a closet two years later.

I also think, whatever your ability, it's very rewarding to create your own art and display, as it makes your home even more unique. Nothing grand required, a few photo's, a sketch or painting. Just something that yours.

Ian / March 16, 2004 8:35 AM

My investments have been solely student work, so the prices were reasonable.

'That Ian' / March 16, 2004 12:01 PM

Hey Ian's, betta change yo' names fo' we be steppin' all up in some proll'ums. From now on I'm known as 'That Ian' and you two can choose names accordingly.

Eamon / March 16, 2004 3:45 PM

I just realized that I never answered the latter part of the question. I pay about $50 for photographs. The WPA prints ran about $100 plus another $100 to frame, if I remember correctly. The Sam Brown piece was $150 or so, and the boutique dress was purchased at a fundraising auction (for the arts!) for about $200, I think.

Kenan / March 16, 2004 10:38 PM

If I buy art, it's usually from a place like this or this. Or maybe something like this. I do not need, cannot afford, and am not able to properly appreciate $1000 art.

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