The first question to ask is why are you buying art? Enjoyment? Investment? Or, a bit of both, basically meaning the enjoyment of speculating on a potential investment like buying lottery tickets or bitcoins? Dream on because it most likely won’t happen. If it is purely a matter of investment then there are professional art investment advisors who can help you but you will have to pay for that.
If you want enjoyment you will want to train your eye by looking at a lot of art books and magazines. Speaking of magazines, next, buy a copy of Art Almanac for a few months and go to galleries. The cost of a single issue it will be a lot cheaper than the ticket price to one of these mega-exhibitions like Supergraph or The Other Art Fair.
You can see several galleries in Melbourne by just by walking along Gertrude St. in Fitzroy or Flinders Lane in the CBD. Visiting galleries can becomes a game of urban orienteering in finding some of the smaller galleries. So meet up with friends and have a cup of coffee in a café near the galleries. Go to art opening, art auction previews and art fairs. Like all shopping buying art is a matter of finding the right store (gallery) that has items/labels (artists) that you like in your price range.
You may not have bought any art yet but you are having a good time, learning and training your eyes. Keep doing this for at least six months before you buy anything. Talk to the gallery staff about the art, they are happy to talk and are the best source of information. In the smaller galleries it is frequently one of the exhibiting artists gallery sitting.
Art openings are when the best works in the exhibition sells. When buying art is concerned is a matter of first come first served. You can also look at the huge list of openings in Melbourne Gallery Openings on Facebook or Somepainter lists the openings for that night (there will be similar one in your area). Then you can drink wine and talk with the artist at the opening.
Think about where you would put the art in your home, where you are going to put it, how will it look when you see it everyday. When you are confident in your taste and have seen art that you really like buy it.
If you want to buy very affordable art look for fine art students final year or graduation shows at the end of the academic year. Here you can buy art at very affordable prices. Buy unframed works on paper and get them framed at any good framing shop will save you money and you can have all your art in matching frames to suit your décor.
Remember art galleries are basically shops and you can arrange all kinds of purchase plans with the gallery. All you need is a deposit to secure your purchase, there are even interest free loans available to help you buy art from Art Money.
Finally when you have bought the art have a party to celebrate your new art hanging in your home. Show it off. Invite your friends and the artist around to look at your new art and enjoy some more wine and nibbles. And then you can enjoy it for the rest of your life. Have fun.