Tips to invest in art
Do the names Dorothy and Herbet Vogel ring a bell?
This American couple, many times known as the “Proletarian Art Collector”, started by acquiring small artworks from emerging artists [mainly minimalists] during the 60’s and 70’s at absolutely derisory prices. Refusing to sell any of their purchased artworks, Dorothy and Herbert manage to compose a collection with 4800 artworks, which now is worth millions of dollars! On this amazing collection are very well known names such as Joseph Beuys, Roy Lichtenstein or Nam Jun Paik.
What lesson do we learn with the Vogels? That the investment in (still) emerging artists can be transformed in a great bet for the future!
In times of economic crises, like the ones we have been living in the last few years, it is proved that the investment in art could be a good way to diversify your investment portfolio, since it’s less susceptible to the instability of the traditional financial markets. Still, it is important to be aware that this is not a recommended investment for people that are in a rush to have a financial return! Same to say tha,t when we think about investing in a piece of art, it is important to actually like the piece, since it is likely that we have to keep it and look at it for some time.
Curiously, art only began to be considered as a viable investment in the beginning of the 80’s! During most of the 20th century there were only a few individuals that looked at the artistic market as an opportunity of realistic investment, but limiting themselves to appreciate only the aesthetic merits of the artworks. “Aesthetic Dividend” was the term used at the time to describe the pleasure of owning an artwork.
However, times have changed and, luckily, so did the artistic notions! Nowadays, anyone is fitted to play the role of a curator at their own spaces, and initiating as a collector of artworks by emerging artists, purchased at very appealing prices.
Key-ideas about art investment:
1. The economic crises can be a good time to invest in art: a lot of pieces with quality are put to sale at very attractive prices at this time.
2. Do not invest money that you might need soon! As we mentioned before, art is a long term investment that only compensates, hypothetically, a few years later after the initial investment.
3. Buy artworks that you really like. Art can be a medium/short term investment, but, in case it never increases its value, you risk keeping an artwork you can’t even look at.
4. Having several pieces of art of great names at home does not necessarily mean that you have a valuable collection. Even renowned artists went through less happy phases, so not all of their works have potential to increase value.
5. Expert tip: purchases merely based on the price may not be the best option! The passion and intelligence of the purchase create, most of the time, collection with bigger longevity.
6. Mainly for those that are still giving the first steps in purchasing artworks, it is essential to learn about it. To read specialized publications and have curiosity to know about techniques and materials are major conditions to gain confidence at the moment of decision.
7. Still, do not get adventurous on unknown lands! Get advice from someone that truly knows and understands art to make sure you don’t end up “buying a pig in a poke”.
8. Make sure of the artwork´s authenticity!
9. The condition of the artwork is, obviously, crucial. Maybe that scratch on the canvas was not a touch of contemporaneity that the artist decided to transmit, but instead a bad storage option or transportation of the work.
10. We have mentioned a few times throughout this text but we do not get tired of referring the main key for successfully investing in art: BUY AND INVEST WITH PASSION.