Viewing an artwork is as satisfying as buying, say scientists

December 16th, 2008 - 3:13 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 16 (ANI): For some art lovers, visiting the gallery and viewing the artistic work can be as satisfying as buying, according to a new study.

The study led by Yu Chen from Oakland University shows that visiting a gallery could provide many of the same benefits as buying a painting.

“The consumption actthat of enjoying the paintingis similar in both modes. The consumption modesthat of either purchasing or viewing art exhibitsprovide two different circumstances of consumption: one is through a private, permanent ownership-linked approach; the other is through a public, temporal, and circumstantial approach,” said Chen.

During the study, Chen interviewed 116 people in Paris and Geneva. Collectors were people who accumulated pieces of contemporary artwork without reselling. Visitors were people who visit art exhibits but never purchase artwork.

The author visited art collections and asked questions about what drove collectors to purchase the works.

The author found that art collectors and visitors to galleries and museums share many desires and values, including otherness, sociality, philanthropy, spirituality, aesthetics, and novelty.

How collectors differ from visitors is in their desire for a long-term intimate relationship with the artworks.

Visitors want to avoid repetition and dullness, and like the experience of sharing art communally.

He also found that the experiences of both art purchasers and art viewers do not always correspond with their expectations.

“This contradiction implies that desire and illusions, more than value and perceptions, are the driving forces behind consumption,” he wrote.

“The present research challenges the presupposition that possession is the ultimate expression of consumer desireAccess could also provide value of the extended self through the immaterial memories that enrich human sense and life experiences,” Chen added.

The study appears in Journal of Consumer Research. (ANI)

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