Art You Don’t Like

Sometimes we grow out of art that isn't our own.

Our tastes change.

Or we were gifted a piece by a generous artists, but it's not really “us” or it doesn't fit in our home or with our aesthetic.

Deep Thought

What do you do with art you don't like or no longer want?


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19 thoughts on “Art You Don’t Like”

  1. What a good question!

    I wrap them up and store them. My taste changes. I have a huge painting my mom bought me when I was three. (She really liked it and decided it would be my “wedding present”. Clever, gal.) I didn’t like it in my 20s but I love it now. Now it is hanging in my dining room.

    So I store it because things change.

  2. I use art I no longer identify with to “pay” sponsorship for new proyects.
    Right no I’m working on a big solo show in Mexico City, and I’m looking for commercial partners. I make trades visible in Universities and places where they have not easy access to. I invite them to pay that kind of publicity with free materials, which I use to create artworks, or money to organize the show. When they offer more, I give them an old work. It must be a quality one, but it can be something I prefer not to sell.
    So, everybody is happy!

  3. It depends if there is some other emotional attachment or not. There are a lot of options besides showing or wearing the piece. There is gifting it to someone else for whom the aesthetic works, selling it, donating it, saving it for heirs… etc. It rather depends on the circumstances of one’s relationship to the artist and the emotional content of the gift.

  4. Donate it. Gesso over it and try again! I think of that as giving future art historians job security. : )

    I have some simple jewelry though that I don’t know what to do with it. I just photographed it and was about it list it on etsy, when I decided my etsy shop shouldn’t be a garage sale. Now I don’t know what to do with it.

    Back into the closet it goes, I guess!

    1. Victoria Pendragon

      There are mixed media artists out there (I know because I used to be one) who would love that jewelry!!!

  5. For the last 5-6 years a group of women In Salida,CO has been raising funds for micro-loans for Guatemalan women by having an Art Garage sale annually. Everyone, including artists, donates art works, jewelry, those pieces gifted, those pieces not wanted anymore and those artworks you could never stand.
    This is a great event with the usual appetizers and wine. Every year a good deal of money is sent to help women create their own businesses (including business classes). When a borrower commits, her children also get to attend school (school costs money).

    I want to encourage all artists wanting to get rid of art to create something worth while with your gifts. Salida’s branch of Friendship Bridge will gladly take all and any works. (contact me) We do have standards though, no junk. For more about Friendship Bridge go here:

    Or start your own Art Garage sale and donate the funds to the homeless, your library, your local schools, etc.

  6. We offer our tastes-changed art to our children. They all seem to be strapped for cash but appreciate art, so they really appreciate having good work in their homes.
    I shall keep in mind the Salida branch of Friendship Bridge, a good group that does good works.

  7. I am a long time subscriber & practitioner of the Red Hot Chili Peppers…Their first tenet is :”Give it away, Give it away, Give it away, now…”
    I keep nothing…I can’t move into the future if I am hanging onto the past…Plus, as a naturally very messy person, this is my way of keeping my life neat & clean…
    This has never hurt my business or prices or anything like that…To the contrary, my yearly purges by gifting, bring most excellent thank you presents…I have received back Aveda shampoos & conditioners, trays of mini cheesecakes, a beautiful tea cup, tremendous good will…I like giving…

  8. For me, this is a relatively easy question as i have just recently made this decision for several pieces that had been hanging on my walls. I actually still like the stuff, but want to make room for pieces I like better and are newer (fresher) to me. So i am donating what I no longer want to my church for the annual auction. The art will find a new appreciative home and the church will gain some money, at no direct cost to me.

    As some others have said, it is important to me to enjoy and then to pass it on – I try to avoid having too much clutter and even fine art can become clutter when there is too much!

  9. Victoria Pendragon

    Sari exactly echoes the way I treat, well, everything in my life. Clothes, art supplies, everything. I once met a woman in a checkout line whose kids just happened to be getting into dying silk (I’d admired her scarf); I’d just stopped dying and offered her kids all of my supplies on the spot.

    I keep nothing that I am not actively engaged with. It has served me well!

    1. Victoria Pendragon

      LOL, Sari! I’ve done both in this lifetime… and I tend to have more occasions to write about the dying! Force of habit. 😉

  10. Depends on the work. Some things I put in the attic, and when they reemerge 5 years later I find I quite missed them. 🙂 If they are pieces I bought for investment, they definitely go in the attic for a while. But that’s really rare because I tend to buy investment pieces only when I really really love them, because of the price. If they aren’t investment pieces they I have been known to eBay them – I’d rather someone looking for that artist find the piece and have it than it sit unloved here. 🙂

  11. Having more art than wall space, I am in the habit of wrapping and storing art that I don’t have room for. Next year or the year after when I decide to change the art on the walls, out comes the stored art and the current art gets stored. One tip though, take a picture of the art being stored, print it on paper and slip that paper into a large ziplock bag and tape it to the outside of the wrapped art. That way you don’t have to unwrap the art to see what it is.

  12. Some of the art I make will never leave the studio as it does not meet my criteria and one day it, when broken-up, will be sent to land-fill in the UK garbage disposal system.

    Other paintings will remain in my studio, gracing its walls, for many years with no intention of selling them etc.

    Then once a year a selection is sent to the UK based Oxfam charity for fund raising purposes…otherwise there would be no room inside the studio! But then I only paint for pleasure now that I’m in retirement etc.

    A Dymo Label on the outside the protective wrapping matches that of the computer catalogue raisonne, so its an easy process!

  13. Donate, donate, donate. The Therapeutic Riding Association here has an annual show/silent auction of donated artworks, which raises a good part of their operating expenses every year. Parts of our collection and one piece of my own artwork go towards this worthy cause each January.

  14. Love the Art Garage Sale idea – a group of artists do something similar here in Bloomington, IN.
    From my own home, though, I am like Sari, and yes – Red Hot Chili Peppers! Everything reminds me of someone, so I put things into the hands and homes of someone who will enjoy and appreciate real art.

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