By Bill Primavera
When I first moved to New York City a half-century ago, I brought with me only my clothes, a record player and a large painting I had been given by a close friend, an artist whom I met while in college.
The painting was of a forlorn looking clown, painted in various shades of blue. It was the only piece of wall art I had in my first apartment.
But then I started collecting pieces of antique furniture and, to me, I felt that this modern painting just didn’t blend into the décor. (This was before I learned something about eclecticism.) So I gave it to a friend who had admired it and I started collecting old paintings from the 19th century that I thought would be more suitable with period furniture pieces.
Ironically, just recently, I looked up the artist who had painted the clown and, during the intervening years since my college days, I found that the artist was Robert Singleton, who has become quite prominent and that his paintings were selling in the tens of thousands. Oh, well. It certainly isn’t the first time I’ve made a bad decision about what I should hold on to and what I should let go.
Just last week, I read an article in The New York Times entitled “Home Is Where the Art Surrounds You.” I must admit, that has become my living experience. Soon after moving to the city, I was greatly influenced toward collecting paintings and other wall art after I had visited the home of a wealthy client whose walls were covered from ceiling to floor with paintings and prints, a varied and colorful feast for the eyes. To that point, I had regarded wall art as something to be hung only at eye level and not necessarily in concert with other works of art.
My first art purchase after letting go of the clown was of a 19th century English woman doing a sketch. I thought that I had gotten a real deal, paying only $35. When I shared the details of that purchase with a good friend, his eyes opened wide and he exclaimed, “You paid that for that painting?”
“Yes, didn’t I get a real deal?” I asked.
“No, I think you got rooked!” he responded.
Undeterred by his opinion, I continued to collect paintings I liked whenever I could afford them. Today, my walls do indeed look like an art gallery. When I look at a particular painting, it is more to me than simply experiencing its content. I remember where I found the painting and how I responded to it then, and in all the years following.
Having aspired long ago to surround myself with wall art that would transform my living space beyond its function as just a place in which to reside, I collected and displayed art until there was no wall space left.
Today I am pleased to report that my efforts have resulted in a home living experience that is greatly enhanced by beauty no matter where within my four walls I look.
Bill Primavera, while a publicist and journalist, is also a Realtor® associated with William Raveis Real Estate and Founder of Primavera Public Relations, Inc. (www.PrimaveraPR.com). To engage the services of The Home Guru to market your home for sale, call 914-522-2076.