Ask the Experts | FINE ARTS: Why Buy an Original versus Reproduction?

By Julie Jenkins & Melissa Kreisa
Los Gatos This Week

Julie / JCO

Julie / JCO

Melissa Kreisa: 
A friend asked me the other day, "Why should I buy an original piece of artwork? I saw something that I really liked at Pier One the other day. It wasn't an original, but it was pretty and it matched my curtains." 


Julie Jenkins: I'd say, hey ask yourself-- do you really love it? And how would you feel if you waled into your friend of neighbor's house and saw the exact same painting on their wall? 

Not so sound disrespectful, but I personally don't care if the artwork matches your curtains. I buy artwork because I love it, am inspired by it, connect with the subject or the artists, and want to be surrounded by something that is unique. I will be the owner of the work-- one of its kind! When I see it, I want to be reminded that another human being made it, not a machine. Original works of art have an energy about them that reproduced, decorative items simply don't have. 

So much in our lives is mass produced, and its becoming harder and harder to find a truly unique, handmade object that expresses our own taste and style. I love it when friends, family, and colleagues come into our home and we have the opportunity to share why we chose the pieces and how it inspires us. I truly believe that original artwork puts off an energy that enhances the space it occupies. 

The subtle qualities of an original piece of artwork cannot be replicated even by the most sophisticated printing technologies. Stop by JCO's Place and I will show you how the look and feeling of a painting can shift as the lighting changes or you move around it. The texture of the paint or the brushstrokes of an artist can give the painting a three-dimensional quality which cannot be achieved by a machine. I will show you how an original painting is so much more than an image- I will help you see the spirit of the artist and their creativity, energy, and passion. 

I would remind my friend that when she buys an original piece of artwork - she is also directly supporting the artists and their local economy. It is only through "patrons" that artists can bring their gifts to the world and continue to do what they love. 

So my dear friend, I hope I have answered your question and help you decide in favor of an original piece of art - even if it doesn't quite perfectly match your curtains!