Buying artwork – whether purely for aesthetics or as an investment – can be an intimidating process. Thankfully, those of us in the Bay Area who are just starting out have a great local resource: Lost Art Salon. Nearly everything in the place is under $1000. And it is indeed set up like an early 20th century European salon, so you'll instantly feel at ease when you walk in.
"The South of Market loft features original Modern Era art (1900-1960s) presented in an eclectic residential setting – think Paris 1920s meets industrial urban loft," said Rob Delamater, who along with Gaétan Caron, founded Lost Art. "We want our clients to feel like they're walking into our own living room, not a stuffy, cold, intimidating art gallery.
"The residential feel of the Salon also is a way for us to show people unique ways of hanging work and displaying a mix of sculpture, ceramics, art glass and wall art."
You can see Delamater and Caron's design skills at work at the upcoming Decorator Showcase in San Francisco. The pair created the "Hall of Collections and Atelier," which is located on a lower level of the showcase mansion.
In a recent interview with Instinct magazine, Delamater and Caron offered these tips for buying art:
- Select pieces you will want to own long-term.
- Don't worry about placement, as you can always find the right spot for art that you love.
- Buy one-of-a-kind works that fit your budget, rather than reproductions that anyone else can have in their home. The pair explained that "there's something about knowing you are the only one in the world that owns this work of art. Original works have a soulful quality that simply cannot be captured in reproductions, no matter how good."
At the two-year-old Salon, over 250 art pieces are on display – including paintings, drawings, ceramics, glass work and sculptures. An additional 1,200 items are in a library of original images, which is available for anyone to browse. The art is procured through auctions, dealers, flea markets, antique fairs and private collections and estates.
It's hard to believe that for the cost of, say, filling up our gas tank a few times, we could buy a fantastic original painting. We may have to re-direct next month's coffee allowance towards some lovely new pottery for our nightstands.