Being "Uncool" about art

Questroyal art be uncool
Angel Zapata - bull fighting watercolors - 1960

Angel Zapata - bull fighting watercolors - 1960

Zapata bull fighting watercolor 1960

I love this ad from Questroyal Fine Art.  First of all, the artwork is fantastic (disclaimer:  I'm a huge fan of traditional American art).  But what I love more is the "Be Uncool" slogan.  I imagine that , like many Old Masters / non-contemporary art dealers and auction houses, Questroyal is struggling to stay relevant with their traditional art focus.  This ad is clearly an appeal to those caught up in the contemporary art craze to look more objectively at all art regardless of subject matter, style, time period, etc.  And I couldn't agree more.

I have nothing against contemporary art, and in fact like most people I enjoy it more than most non-contemporary works.  But it's insane to blindly purchase only contemporary work, simply because it's the new new.  Keenlee's advice to clients is always to start with what you enjoy - not what others enjoy, not what will simply match the couch, and definitely not what you think will be a good investment.  Spend time expanding your horizons looking at art in traditional art museums and galleries.  Sometimes, at least for me, you have to look beyond the clunky, gilded classical frames that often aren't appealing and can detract from the art itself (again, my opinion).  But what's left are some incredible works that stand the test of time the same way that classic rock is still fantastic today, even if it's not from the hot new band.

Here's a personal example of a set of 6 bullfighting watercolors we own that were created in the 1960s by an artist named Angel Zapata.  We found these a few years ago while searching on RubyLane, which is kind of like searching the internet's version of an antique shop.  They were a bit dingy looking at first blush and in some crumbling old frames, but we loved the motion of the works and the series of 6 together and they were a fantastic price.  We reframed them (in hindsight, not the best job, but we did it with off-the-shelf frames from a local framing chain) and we love these works and get many comments from visitors as well.

The point is to spend time finding what speaks to you personally and then going for it!  You'll create a  much richer, more enjoyable home environment for you and your family and feel more confident about your purchases.  And if that still means you're only buying contemporary art, that's fantastic too!