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4 Tips For Collecting Art & 10 Affordable Pieces

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    The art world gets a bad wrap for being super exclusive. But, really it isn't at all like that intimidating auction scene from The First Wives Club. To be a serious collector you don't have to drop $140,000 on an antique Japanese plate like Sarah Jessica Parker's character in the movie.

    How do we know? Because Nate Berkus told us so. And, he knows stuff about art.

    Berkus has a very can-do philosophy about collecting: "It's scary if you're trying to be pretentious. If you're going into it with an open mind and heart and just respond to something, then it doesn't matter who the artist is. It has to be something that when you wake up in the morning and have your coffee — you want to see it in your home."

    Berkus recently partnered with The Affordable Art Fair, which is taking place now through Sunday, April 6 and features 78 galleries at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea. Half of all the works for sale are under $5,000 — with a good number under $200. Yes — they are actually affordable.

    "Sometimes the most important piece that you buy is your first piece," explains Fair director Cristina Salmastrelli. "You want that to be original, contemporary art." But, how does one actually make that first purchase? Salmastrelli suggest you consider four things:

    1. Type Of Artwork — "Do you like photography? Do you like oil paintings? Before you come to the fair, think about the type of art you want."

    2. Budget — "Are you going to spend $500 or $2,000. What's your range?"

    3. Location — "Where will you put this piece? Do you want it in the bedroom or in the living room? Color plays a big part — in the bedroom you want calming colors. Grey is a subconscious relaxer. If you want something for the living room, that's a social place."

    4. Dimensions — "What size do you need the work to be?"

    Now all you need to do is preview the 10 amazing pieces ahead, and then head to the fair, immediately. You'll fit in with the art crowd in no time at all.

    Photo: Eric Ogden Amy Adams.

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