When collecting and investing in art, the question which comes up over and over again is, “how do I know what to buy that will eventually appreciate in value? Good question, not always an easy answer. The number one rule before anything is buy what you like, plain and simple. Obviously there are other factors as well, however, regardless of value, one must enjoy and appreciate their art, as it will give them years and years of pleasure. When investing in art, it is important to educate yourself, whether it is going to museums, galleries, or purchase some art magazines and start reading up on the historical innovators or if your interests lie in the contemporary world check out what’s new and what are the current trends. Whether you are buying historical or contemporary art, do the research on the artist. Ask yourself, what is their profile? Is there a good following? Are they in public collections? What do curators think of their work? It is very important not to jump into anything just based on current values. As you research you will begin to get a good feel for what artists you like. Beware of art that has increased in value at an astronomical rate for no reason. Look at artist’s work that has increased in value consistently over the years rather than those with huge fluctuations.
Most art buyers are buying because they enjoy living with it, not for investment purposes. It is not that art doesn’t appreciate; the art market has been rising consistently for the past nine years and in the past 4 it has seen double-digit growth. “The art market did not suffer repercussions when the Internet bubble burst and is doing well today, even after the credit crunch”, says Robert Tomei a fund manager who recently launched his third art fund. Even in a down market art usually remains relatively strong because of the intrinsic value of art. Mr. Tomei, continues, ” Art doesn’t burn cash; it isn’t an Internet company. If you buy artists that have an established career, it’s a real asset and that acts as downside protection, assuming you have not bought at a speculative price”. Along with young professionals and small business owners who are relatively new to the art scene, the market has had solid growth at the top end. The more established collectors are spending more on art as their wealth grows and are passionate in fine-tuning their collections.
Remember, if you are a novice or have been collecting for years, buy what is appealing to you, and do the research. Building an art collection takes time and patience and should be enjoyable.