Weekly file: finding the right context

Barry Hazard, M, 60x48 inches, oil on linen, 2006, courtesy the artist.

Talking about art is not easy for the average "non-art" person. Taste is subjective, and articulating what you like is highly personal and can be intimidating.  Sometimes artists and art-people talk about "easy" work and "hard" work.  And while that can mean different things to different people, to the average person on the street, realist portraits would belong in the "hard" or difficult category of art.  Of course, few would balk at owning a famous face like the Mona Lisa, lots of people we speak with express unease about having contemporary photos and realist paintings of people they don't know on their walls.  So think of it this way, the art you choose for your home or office is self-expression, like the clothing you might choose. You can really have anything from the little black dress to the outrageous statement piece, how people perceive your fashion choice just depends on the event or setting in which you're wearing it. Sure, there are collectors who buy art just because they have to have it, but most people buy art because they have a place they want to put it.  You might not be at a point where you want a fabulous face looking out over your living room, but that same portrait might take on a whole different meaning tucked over a desk in your home office.  If you love it, you can find the perfect spot.