A home without art has been described as lifeless. And as dramatic as that may sound, there is truth to it. The importance of art lies in its effect; from not only enhancing the look and feel of your home, but to improving your mood too.

Bronwen Heath – White Jug

Finding your unique piece(s) can be quite a challenging task, so we chatted to Susie Goodman, the executive director of Strauss & Co Johannesburg, who shared a few tips on how to buy art for the home:

• Buy what you love first and foremost. Showcase it in your home where you can enjoy seeing it daily.
• Always buy good quality art by good quality artists. Do your homework on the artists, galleries, auction houses. Educate yourself on the global trends – visit galleries, art fairs, exhibitions, talks. All have become so accessible to us here in South Africa and we can buy some very affordable and amazing art at the likes of Artist Proof Studio, The Artists’ Press, Bag Factory Artists’ Studios etc.

• Once you have bought your art work, frame it properly to protect the piece.

• Art buying and art appreciation is a fun and very rewarding pastime. The people you meet and the fascinating stories you will hear makes this journey a very exciting one. A lot of the opportunities to view art are free so you can really immerse yourself in the field and educate yourself on the different artists, genres etc. In 2013, Strauss & Co became the first art auction house in South Africa to hold online art auctions featuring works of art by well-known artists that are targeted at entry-level buyers. These almost monthly online auctions allow you to view and buy art from the comfort of your home at very affordable prices. The cross-section of artworks on offer is vast and there is something to suit all tastes and collections. Attend live auctions which are free, informative and give you the opportunity to view artworks all under one roof.

Irma Stern – Boats on Zanzibar Beach

Displaying your treasured art pieces is as important as acquiring them, and Lindy van Niekerk, art curator and gallery owner of the Lindy van Niekerk Art Gallery in Cape Town, provides us with three considerations to keep in mind when installing your art:

• If you are working with a masonry wall, it is always best to drill a hole in the wall and use a plastic wall plug and screw that is strong enough to hold the weight of your picture. It is not a good idea to simply bang a nail into the wall as you have no way to gauge the quality of your plaster.

• Don’t hang your picture too high on the wall (a common mistake). The ideal height of the centre of your picture (if there is no piece of furniture below it ), is somewhere between 155cm and 160cm off the floor. The same horizontal centre line should be adhered to when hanging more than one picture in the same room.

• Care should be taken when hanging a picture on an exterior wall as there is the danger that dampness could be transferred to your picture. The same care should be taken when hanging a picture above a fireplace as there is the danger of heat transfer to your picture. In both instances, cork disks (cut from the cork of a wine bottle ) could be cut and secured behind the frame of your picture. This allows air flow behind your artwork.

Walter Battiss – The Invention of Walking Feathers

Featured image (from left to right): Bronwen Heath – White Jug, Ezekiel (Boycie) Madiba – Rural People, Walter Battiss – The Invention of Walking Feathers, all courtesy of Strauss & Co