Buy art that you love! Purchase pieces that suit your taste and lifestyle. Buy it purely for the pleasure it will give you each time you look at it.
Take your time; it's not a race to the finish line. Spend your free time going to physical galleries to absorb what is on display. Check out online galleries and auction sites on a regular basis. Doing this will help sort out your own personal preferences. Over time you will find emerging patterns that begin to define your tastes and build a personal reference library relating to your favourite artists, mediums and styles.To get you started, here are some some short descriptions of the styles you may come across in your travels.
Photo Realism: Very precise/accurate details/lifelike/photographic in nature.
Realism: Looks mostly real, especially from a distance. Up close the viewer sees how the illusion was created using colour, light and shadow.
Painterly: Maintains some realism but incorporates texture and brush strokes.
Impressionism: Often scenes of 'real life'. Colours tend to be layered into illusions that give an impression rather than real or factual details of the subject.
Expressionism/Fauvism: Although on the surface it may depict a 'face' or a 'person' the choices of colour and use of lines are used as tools to express opinions, emotions or opinions. The choices may or may not be factual and the artist has likely used artistic license to express him/herself.
Abstraction: Not quite real. Not quite abstract. The style falls between the two. Often depicting the bones of reality under a veil of emotion or atmosphere.
Abstract: Intentionally non-representational. It is more about colour, texture, materials and composition. Good abstract art can intentionally excite or subdue the senses.
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