Nate Berkus
Whether it's your own photographs or a piece you've purchased, it's important to incorporate some kind of art when you're decorating your space, Nate says. He talks with his friend Carrie Secrist of Chicago's Carrie Secrist Gallery about how to rid yourself of intimidation and develop an appreciation for art. Plus, Carrie shares some insights on how to begin collecting.




What's the best way to get involved with art?
Just by visiting galleries, Carrie says. Start by looking, and then, if you have the means, begin bringing some pieces home. Whether it's something you've found while traveling or a piece at a gallery or art fair, the best indicator is that you're in love with what you're buying and that it's a statement of who you are.

How do you know if a price is fair?
A piece's value is usually determined by its size, the medium in which it was created and the artist's history of exhibitions, Carrie says. If the piece is part of an edition, the price can be affected by the museums or private collections that also own it. To learn more about an artist, Carrie recommends researching online or asking the gallery for the artist's biography. If you're given an artist's statement rather than a bio, Carrie cautions that prices might be inflated.

What is an original piece of art?
An original piece is one of a kind, not part of an edition, Carrie says. However, a fine art print with hand-coloring by the artist is also an original piece, since there's not another one just like it.

Can you start a collection with a limited budget?
Even with as little as $50, you can find original works by younger artists—most likely drawings or other works on paper, Carrie says. With $100, she says, you might find a small painting, and with $500, a limited-edition photograph. If you're on a budget, Carrie recommends taking your own photographs and blowing them up to create personal works of art.

Ultimately, art's greatest value is what it means to you, Carrie says. "Art doesn't have to be a mystery," she says. "It's there to be seen, there for the viewer. Anything it inspires in you is what the truth is about the work."
When making design decisions, always exercise common sense and safe judgment. The opinions expressed by the hosts, guests and callers to Oprah Radio are strictly their own.

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