Lina Mowafy, director of ArtsMart Gallery offers her tips for selecting artwork to enhance your space:
- When purchasing art, choose artwork that speaks to you and that you can connect with. Whatever you decide to buy for your space, be it your office or your home; it should emit positivity and feed you good emotions.
- If you are unsure that a piece you are attracted to will work in a space, a “Try Before You Buy” service is your best bet. You can always use an art advisory service from the gallery you are dealing with.
- The best way to become familiar with the work of up-and-coming artists is to always keep up to date with galleries, subscribe to newsletters and follow them online to receive latest news and learn of upcoming exhibitions and events.
Cherine Chafik, gallery director and curator of ArtTalks shares deep art scene insight. While Fatenn Kanafani – Owner and Founder of ArtTalks gives tips on the placement of art in the home.
Art as a dynamic form of expression
Some critics foretell ‘the death of painting’, as art today responds to a global environment that is culturally diverse and technologically advancing. Contemporary art is multifaceted and defies easy definition by challenging traditional boundaries. The majority of Egyptian artists work in a globally influenced, culturally diverse, and technologically advancing world. Nevertheless, their work encompasses a broad range of traditional and experimental media, mainly oil with dynamic combination of materials, methods, concepts, and subjects. – Cherine Chafik.
Cherine’s Tips for Hanging Artwork:
- Perfect placement of a painting is something of the past. The most interesting wall arrangements are unexpected and creative. Some artworks can rest leaning on the wall or over a console without hanging.
- Large walls don’t always call for a large piece of artwork.
- As a general rule the center point of the piece or grouping should be at approximately eye level, but that doesn’t mean you cannot hang one closer to the ground or way above a door if you have a high ceiling.
- Artwork need not be perfectly centered: Although symmetrical hanging is a visually appealing norm of the past, now scattered arrangements can be playful and chic.
- Perfect for a hallway or sofa wall, hanging paintings or photography horizontally allows you to achieve some volume without appearing crowded.
- If you have two larger pieces, try staggering them by hanging one lower than the other, so that top and bottom don’t match.
- No matter what scenario you choose, bear in mind to give space around the artwork to breathe.
Fatenn’s Tips for Hanging Artwork
- If the house is rich with art, then I would go to the extreme and place many paintings on one wall, starting with a central big piece and surrounding it with smaller ones on the sides and top.
- Small pieces can transform a wall, if placed together. Hanging them close to each other should be about telling a story, pleasing to the eye.
Mona Said shares her knowledge as curator and co-owner of SafarKhan Art Gallery, a leading gallery in the local art scene since 1968.
Caring for artwork
The most important point is that you should hang it, not wrap it in plastic and place it in storage. Canvases should not be stored rolled up, of course. Paintings should be placed away from direct sunlight, and kept clean and dust-free. There are very soft dusters that have been made especially for artwork. This means that the back should be checked regularly as well, to ensure that the wood is sound and has not been affected by anything.
Frames and mountings
A good piece of artwork will stand in its own right, so we should never depend on the frame to embellish it. However, there are specific types of mountings and framing that are commonly used for various types of painting. Watercolors, pastels, lithographs and drawings are best framed with glass to protect them. The only art that should be hung without glass is oil or acrylic, either on canvas or wood. Sometimes it is preferred to use glass when an oil painting has been done on paper, as it can be torn more easily.
When something no longer works in your collection
When you buy a piece it is important to select something that has the potential to be something in the future. If you do not want a piece you may be able to exchange it or return it to the gallery where you purchased it, if not, there are well-known antique dealers in the downtown and Zamalek areas who deal in paintings. Alternatively you could make a gift of it, to friends or family. But really, you should purchase art initially with the guideline of it being a good investment, looking at big-name artists or up-and-coming artists that are garnering attention.
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