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The Piece of Art That Has Been My Favorite Purchase of the Year

Yes, you can invest in art in your 20s.

A few months back I received the advice to invest in art instead of acquiring this season’s handbag. As a twentysomething post-grad, an art investment seemed unrealistic, if not slightly pretentious. I typically just forage nicely framed prints from my parents’ home or from vintage shops. But shortly after hearing that insight, SI Swimsuit model and home decor guru Brooks Nader turned me onto an artist from whom she had just bought a piece. I saw it, and it was “Say no more, I have to have it.”

Cream Imperial pieces are made by a female Swedish artist, who prefers to keep her identity under the radar. She makes one-of-a-kind handcrafted plaster paintings. The dimensionality and movement of the pieces make a statement, while the neutral colors allow them to work in any space without feeling overpowering. Scrolling through her work on Instagram, everything felt romantic and unique; I couldn’t leave the page. The artist notes her pieces celebrate the power found in simplicity. “I’m inspired by the ever present duality in nature and the necessary relationship between opposite energies for creation to take place,” she says.

My biggest concern was that I would be buying a custom piece for a rental, and who knows how long I’d be staying at my current place. (My track record says no more than two years.) I felt that way until a visit to the new Frick Madison—the Frick Collection has been moved temporarily while its Fifth Avenue home undergoes renovation—which is described as a “new light on old friends.” And the thought of carrying along a beloved piece of art through my many inevitable moves actually excited me. So I rid my brain of Carrie Bradshaw saying, “I want my money where I can see it—on my feet,” and on the wall of my apartment it goes.

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Image courtesy of Cream Imperial

Image courtesy of Cream Imperial

My favorite part about buying this piece is that I was able to be a part of the experience. “I love working together with my customers when creating custom paintings and I take much pride in having a close connection with them,” explains the artist. “The process usually involves pictures of the space where the art will hang and also style references to create the perfect art piece for the customer.” Her collaborative nature definitely made me feel more confident that I would be happy with the final product.

After having this piece grace my wall for a few months now, I’m thrilled with the investment. It not only pulls together my space, but it’s also calming and it brings me joy looking at it on a daily basis. It’s a lasting high that no high heel will ever deliver.