Art. It’s everywhere. Beyond the walls of the gallery, it’s in the form of street murals, stylistic statues showering in city fountains and in the unassuming beauty of todays modern design aesthetics, continuously stretching the borders of its definition. But enjoying art with intention, in your own domain, can be incredibly satisfying, even more so if the art is chosen carefully and with real consideration. Since acquiring art as an investment vehicle has become more common, the art market isn’t exclusively for the well heeled anymore. In fact, anyone can step easily into an auction house or gallery wearing sneakers and make as impressive an acquisition as the best dressed collectors. If it is the first time that you are stepping foot into the art market, how can you be sure to make a worthy purchase and what do you need to consider? Check out these five tips for fresh art collectors.
Buy art for the right reasons
After the economic downturn of the last decade, ultimately fine art has emerged as a new asset class, capturing the attention of potential investors from all income levels. As fetching as it might seem to combine the aesthetics of a new acquisition with a hot opportunity for an investment return, this new investment market segment comes with significant risks as well. Art is not a liquid investment that you can necessarily resell immediately with considerable gains. If you were to purchase an investment piece based on a trend today, you could find yourself saddled with an item bearing little market value tomorrow. So if you are to play the art game, get something that inspires you, complements your style or very simple makes you happy to see it everyday. If you can sell it later for thrice its worth, it will be very gratifying, but you will probably not be fast to part with your most truly rewarding acquisitions.
As fine art at all price-points should be a well thought out purchase, it is of the upmost importance to seal the deal well informed. Talk with other, more well seasoned, art collectors, art advisors and artists about their experiences. Visit galleries and art fairs to get an idea of what is available and develop your own taste. Dive into the background of the artists you are interested in and follow price-comparing sites to familiarize your self with what a reasonable sale looks like.
Connections, connections, connections
From whatever angle you approach making a new acquisition, there is one key concept that is perpetually valid: to have the right connections. Whether you are looking for a very particular artefact or acquire work by a very in demand artist, it is imperative to know who to turn to. Immerse yourself fully into the task and present yourself to gallerists, dealers, artists, curators, producers and art historians. But never be too presumptuous about who can help you; even the smallest fish can lead you to that dream catch.
Protect your property properly
Once in possession of that long searched for artwork, make sure that it will be with you for the long haul by ensuring that it is protected properly. Insurance companies often have special clauses for art insurance with a lot of different implications to be taken into account, so don’t assume that your fine art is covered by your homeowners or renters insurance policy and read the fine print carefully. Also get informed about the best way to keep the art piece in a good condition and how to transport it – it wouldn’t be the first time an art work would fall into pieces due to poor planning.
The art market isn’t the kind of place where you can laugh a bad bargain off by using the painting as a fancy dinner tray and moving incessantly to another misguided purchase. It consists of various sub-markets that all behave in their own particular way, but that are all underlain by a lot of movement. Both for buying and selling the same rule applies: be patient. If you want to create a solid reputation as art collector or don’t want to be stuck with a dozen regrettable acquisitions, you will have to wait for the right timing; that perfect artwork that meet with all your wishes will eventually turn up.