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
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.