Ask A Curator

How to Start Buying and Investing in Art: Part 3

Love at first sight? It exists when it comes to art.

University College London recently conducted a survey that found looking at aesthetically pleasing works of art has the same impact on the brain as falling in love with a person. Participants’ brains were monitored as they viewed paintings by masters like Sandro Botticelli and Claude Monet. The results showed that the subjects’ blood flow to the part of the brain associated with pleasure and desire increased by as much as 10 percent when they looked at these beautiful works.

Thanks to this survey, we now have scientific support to back up what we all know is true—looking at art makes us feel better.

Falling in Love with Art

Collectors should fall in love with the work of art they are purchasing, as they will potentially be spending time with these works for years to come. We recommend collectors go with their gut—if you feel a strong connection or are inspired by a work of art, you can proceed with your purchase with confidence.

You may want to consider a few key questions as you find potential works to buy:

  • How does the work make me feel?
  • What is that I like about it? The colors, the shapes and forms, the subject matter?
  • Or is the fact that I can’t put  my finger on what it is about it that I like, exactly why I like it?
  • Does it make me see the world a little differently?
  • Do I have a particular place in mind for it? Above a sofa, in a bedroom, in an office?

Ready to start building your own collection? Read Saatchi Art’s complimentary ebook 7 Essential Steps to Collecting Emerging Art, written by our Chief Curator Rebecca Wilson.

About the Author

Jessica McQueen is Associate Curator at Saatchi Art. Need help finding art? Contact her via our free Art Advisory service at