Buying and collecting art intelligently can be done by anyone. That’s right, anyone. You do not need to have experience in collecting art, previous knowledge about the art business, or even a degree in art history. The truth is, all you’ll need is love for and appreciation of fine art; plus a yearning to collect; lastly, willingness to learn a some simple techniques that would help you evaluate any kind of art work coming from any period of history, whomever the artist is and whatever his or her nationality is.
Although you might read some specific suggestions and recommendations describing specific works of art, you should take note that there is really no right or wrong kind of art and that there’s no right or wrong method to collect or buy art.
Everyone has the freedom to collect whatever it is that they feel like collecting and buy whatever pieces they feel like buying. It doesn’t really matter whenever and wherever you feel like purchasing art, for whatever reason, and for how much you feel like spending on the purchase. As a result, the following tips are not for everyone, but are typically designed for those who want to spend their money wisely on worth it pieces.
If you happen to be one of those people, then here are some tips on how you can be a better art collector.
Four Way Questions On Buying Art
If the time comes that you see a piece that you want, whether it be a painting, sculpture or a print, there are generally four questions that you should ask yourself to start your decision making.
Who’s The Artist?
To answer this, you have 2 reliable sources: spoken and written information. Spoken info usually comes from the artist himself, gallery exhibiting the piece or the dealer. It can also com from other collectors, friends, family, and other people that are familiar about the art or the artist being considered. On the other hand, written info could come in a number of forms like artist career resumes, gallery exhibit catalogues, art reference books and exhibition reviews. How Important Is It?
This could be answered by simply looking at as many possible pieces done by the artist. Try to be familiar with the range of the artists’ art and see where that particular piece falls. You can start by asking the seller to show you a number of pieces done by the artist, whether original, in print, or in photographs. Also try to see works from all periods of the artist’s career; doing this can teach you a lot about the artwork and the artist at hand.
Where Has It Been?
Third, it’s also important to know where that particular piece of art has been. This is done by accumulating all incidental information about the piece. It’s similar to making a biography of the piece, from its birth, which is the artists’ completion of it, up until the present day.
This can be helpful since good provenance and documentation can increase an artwork’s desirability, collectability, and market value. Having a good provenance in the art world is analogous to having good pedigree in the pet world. For example, if a painting was exhibited at a notable and important art show, then it is more collectible than a similar painting that wasn’t; just the same with awards and prizes.
Is The Price Fair?
For this question, it doesn’t really matter what the piece’s value may be in the future, since nobody can really answer that. What you should want to know is whether the piece is fairly priced today or not. This is a very important question, because just like other services or goods, art can sometimes come overpriced.