Tips for becoming a savvy art collector
The pillars for starting an art collection.
You like a work of art but you still hesitate? Art, this passion shared by many, still sees few people pass to the act of purchase. It must be said that the reasons are numerous. However, acquiring a work of art is a pleasant act and brings pleasure. Thus, it is regrettable to observe that this refined practice is still underdeveloped.
How to help you to satisfy your interest for a work by its acquisition? In short, it is motivated by this reflection and anxious to democratize the purchase of art, that I propose you this article. Like a guide, it wants to be useful, and will accompany you to launch you. And especially to please you!
WHY BECOME AN ART COLLECTOR?
First and foremost, whether you prefer paintings, sculptures, or whether you like drawings more. There are many reasons why collecting art is exciting.
EXPRESSING ONE'S PERSONALITY
Indeed, if art has been an integral part of human civilizations for more than 20,000 years, it is not by chance, art feels good! It exposes your emotions, allowing you to know yourself better. The work of art is a channel of sensations that helps you to escape and be at one with your feelings.
BRING YOUR ENVIRONMENT TO LIFE
Moreover, art personalizes and humanizes your living spaces and your daily environment. It allows you to feel at ease. Reflecting your passions, it transforms your spaces making them unique and attractive!
THE PLEASURE INVESTMENT
In addition, art allows you to combine the pleasure aspect with the investment dimension. Indeed, the notoriety and future success of an artist you collect are factors that will allow you to make a profit from the works you have purchased, seeing their value appreciate over time.
SUPPORT THE ARTISTS
Just as it is nice to appreciate the works of artists you like, it is also important to allow them to live from their work. Thus, buying a work of art from an artist is to support them in their endeavors, and to provide them with the financial support necessary to help them continue to produce their work.
HOW TO FIND ART QUICKLY AND EASILY?
Even if the clichés around art have a hard life: elitist, inaccessible, too expensive etc. Nevertheless, we notice paradoxically a growing number of market places, where art is easily accessible to all. Between exhibitions in art schools; auction houses (physical or on the Internet); galleries (physical or on the Internet); shows and fairs etc. All these places constitute a wide choice of places, where the informed collector and the interested art lover can discover a catalog both wide and heterogeneous in styles, techniques and price levels.
So, in order to demystify them, below a focus will be made on the two major places (even if there are also some good ideas to develop in the other marketplaces not presented).
ART SHOWS AND FAIRS
Art shows and fairs (ancient, modern and contemporary) have had a preponderant function on the art market for several years. Many artists are presented there, the opportunity for you to discover in one visit different techniques, styles, and tastes. Each fair has its own scope and reputation, the best known being Art Basel in Miami, the Frieze Art Fair in London and the FIAC in Paris. Obviously, a local art fair does not have the same notoriety and appeal (galleries, artists, media, public, etc.) as a large international fair. Base your choice preferably on your aspirations, your tastes and certainly your budget!
Finally, it is important to note that in 2020, following the global health crisis linked to Covid-19, the emergence of digital versions of art fairs and shows has seen the light of day, they are called "Online Viewing Room". Several market reports (ART BASEL UBS and HISCOX in particular), indicate that this model of art consumption will play an important role in the years to come.
GALLERIES (Physical and on the Internet)
Physical galleries :
Visiting art galleries on a regular basis is a good way to become familiar with a piece of art or an artist's work. Nevertheless, we often hear that entering an art gallery can be intimidating (qualified as "too chic" or "too snobby"). However, it should be noted that visits are free and open to all. Gallery owners are always happy to welcome new art lovers. Vernissages and exhibitions are organized throughout the year. This is often the best opportunity to meet the artists and talk directly with them about their work. So the next time you pass in front of one of them, don't hesitate to enter it to train your eye and discover maybe your next favorite.
Online galleries :
For several years, the sale of art has invested the web. Today, the majority of the major galleries have their presence on the web. Moreover, all market reports show that in general, online art sales have been growing since 2013 (with record sales recorded in 2020, linked to the health crisis and the market's retreat to the web). These results testify to the maturity of this sector and the trust placed in it. The Internet offers the advantage of eliminating the constraint of distance imposed by physical galleries. It also offers a wide choice of artists, styles and prices. Shortcuts, categorization of works and now artificial intelligence make it possible to carry out precise searches and to find the rare pearl with ease.
...WHAT ABOUT PRICES AND TRANSPARENCY?
It must be said that for artists whose name has an indisputable weight on the market, some of their transactions may involve works at 25,000 euros and even more. This is why the art microcosm is a very modest world. The tradition in most "physical" art galleries, and in some exhibitions, is not to present the prices of works in full view. However, not all works in an art gallery have prices in the five figures and up. Don't hesitate to ask the gallery owner about the gallery's catalog and the price range of the works.
Also, don't forget that an art gallery is still a sales outlet. So don't be intimidated and dare to ask all the questions that can help you to concretize your desire to offer yourself a work; and of course those concerning the prices must be exposed.
However, there is a world where the question of prices is almost never a subject; it is that of online galleries. Indeed, most of them clearly display all the prices of their artists' works (you even have a detail on the shipping costs and possible VAT). Some of these galleries offer the advantage of having a history of past transactions, which is interesting when you follow a particular artist. With the Internet, the intermediaries in the transaction are reduced, which allows online galleries to display very accessible prices.
Moreover, transparency in the art world is also achieved through the certificate of authenticity, which is the identity card of a work of art. This unique document certifies the authenticity of a work of art and provides information
on the latter. This document gives you the certainty that the original work you have acquired was indeed created by a particular artist. It is systematically provided when purchasing an original work of art.