((Essay from, "Art For The People: A Collector's Journal."))

It seems deceptively simple, but what better way to say it?

"If you like it, you get it!"

When friend Violetta Krok said this during a discussion about art, I nearly fell out of my restaurant chair.  We were all talking about how so many people who don't know much about art get so hung up on "Getting it."  So many people think that a painting or sculpture contains the secrets of the dead sea scrolls.

Don't get me wrong here.  I'm not "dumbing down" art, nor should anyone.  Artists and the works they create are very intellectual, emotional, spiritual and full of social commentary.  We all know that.  However, I think observers, especially in art museums and galleries have a tendency to either over-intellectualize the work or underestimate their own intelligence.  Art scholars and curators are probably screaming right now, so let me clarify...

When you are a collector or someone who appreciates art for art's sake, it's very important that you're able to establish a personal connection with the piece ... especially if you're considering a purchase.  If you're going to spend good money on anything, whether it be a pair of shoes, a painting, a car or a home, you'd better damn well love it because YOU have to LIVE with it.  If you're buying something with the intention of flipping it (re-selling it for a quick profit), then that's another matter.

In a nutshell, if you like it, you get it.  What Violetta meant was ... if you like something, that means you've ALREADY forged an appreciation and understanding about what it means to YOU.  The light bulb above your head has turned ON.  If you're seeking further information, BY ALL MEANS consult with the artist or a curator or scholar.  Education rocks.  However, as a collector, it's imperative that you ALSO pay attention to your OWN inner voice.

This is especially true when it comes to people.  I think most of us know instantly whether we like someone or not.  No matter how much we try to hide about ourselves, the truth is eventually revealed.  If we like someone, we GET them!  We understand them.  We can form a connection and perhaps even a relationship with them.  If we don't like them, we can move on and hopefully wish one another the best.

If you don't "like" a painting?  Simple.  You just don't GET it.  You have no comprehension or connection and you also won't "get" it ... as in ... "buy" it.  In short, you're not "buying into it."

Of course, this is so elementary, but somewhere down the road of life, refresher courses can be fun.  Don't you think?

So, the next time you're schlepping through an art gallery and you're afraid of not understanding anything, just think about the wisdom of Violetta Krok.

"If you like it, you get it!"

Hopefully, while that light bulb is flashing over your head, you'll have the extra cash on hand to actually ... get it.


Will It Match My Sofa?