About the Guide
Art Style Guide is the art enthusiast’s simple solution to the pressing question, “What do I like?” Consisting of 6 easy-to-follow steps, Art Style is a unique pocket-guide approach aimed at discovering one’s personal fine art taste via today’s mass media culture. From defining one’s personal art style to finding and ultimately selecting an artwork, Art Style Guide answers the most common challenges facing the everyday collector.
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Read the Intro
The following text is the Introduction from the Art Style Guide by Lydia Barry Kutko.
Art is everywhere. Well, not exactly the artwork itself, but the essence of it. Every day we encounter it – from the sides of city buses to the Google banners that welcome us online.
Marketers and magazine editors, promoting everything from lotion to air travel, have appropriated works of art for decades. Take, for instance, Delta Airlines’ launch of a jet bedecked with the iconic mustache of Surrealist artist Salvador Dali. Or Vogue’s December 2009 spread featuring haute couture-clad actress Cate Blanchett in theatrical repose, echoing a similar artistic vision by 19th-century painter Mary Cassatt.
Indeed, marketers know that familiar or famous art lends an aura of distinction to a product, sending it off the shelf and into our hands. We may not be able to own a Picasso, but we sure can purchase a bottle of wine that reminds us of it. Yet, a label stamped with a reproduction of a masterwork, and printed by the thousands, is merely a commodity available to the masses. As aspiring art collectors, we desire a unique aesthetic expression.
It wasn’t until I began considering original art for my own home that I recognized the need for a straightforward process to identify and to define my individual taste. Despite working in the New York art world with exposure to internationally renowned artworks and their equally renowned collectors, I found that articulating my personal preference was a greater challenge than I’d anticipated. In hindsight, I had put collecting on a pedestal, convinced that a true collector should know the history of art through and through, be versed in the methods and materials of art making, be able to recite the latest art news with authority and to recognize a collectible artwork from across the room. That, however, is the ideal of collecting. The reality is that it is an imperfect science, one that welcomes as many approaches as it does types of collectors.
Art Style Guide resulted from an epiphany about collecting: that through mass media culture, we are all inextricably involved in the art world; and that daily, whether aware or not, we make savvy aesthetic decisions – from the clothes we wear to the products we purchase. Art Style is about using the aesthetics of the familiar to explore the exotic. And, with the range of ads and editorial spreads available, pinpointing our art style has never been more attainable. This guide shows us how.
In doing so, Art Style Guide is more than a handbook about defining personal taste and collecting art. It inspires a lifestyle that honors the many dimensions of the aesthetic self, allowing us to see beyond the surface.