Tips for Collecting Art

When my boyfriend and I bought our first piece of art, I was surprised that we could afford to buy anything of interest. I had always considered art collecting to belong exclusively to a tiny cadre of enthusiasts from the upper crust of society. But today, the contemporary art market has opened up allowing normal people, like us, to start collecting art by emerging artists.

Right now, we have lots of silkscreens (totally affordable) and photographs – they’re super easy to bring home from travels to foreign lands. A painting is next on the list for us and we would really like to adorn our house with one of Maya Hayuk’s gorgeous paintings, and it’s now or never, because in the next short while her paintings are going to become super expensive.

I think it’s possible for almost everyone to own original, irreplaceable works of art. This is why I have compiled this list.

Tips for collecting art:

It is usually easiest and cheapest to collect local artists, because you don’t have to pay hefty import fees. Many collectors start out locally then eventually branch out into the international scene.

The Internet. There’s tons of amazing online art galleries selling amazing artwork by new and exciting artists. These galleries often target new collectors, who aren’t ready to fork over a small fortune to buy art, just yet.

Stop thinking that you need to be rich to collect art. Because as the cliché saying goes, “money doesn’t buy taste.” Imagine what Paris Hilton’s art collection would look like (or looks like). Frightening.

Read art blogs. Buy art books. Attend seminars at contemporary art museums.

Look for emerging artists. Often emerging artists don’t have a long list of collectors and exhibitions to inflate the price of their artwork.

Works on paper are usually far more affordable than paintings, but no less compelling. And tiny pieces can be very powerful. They draw you in because you have to get up close to look.

Love it. You shouldn’t buy art to enhance your financial portfolio, unless you have tons of cash to play with. Even then, buy art that moves you, excites you or because the artist deserves your patronage.

Don’t be discouraged. Even though young collectors often can’t compete with the purchasing power of the mega rich, the contemporary art is large and their are tons of amazing artists waiting to be discovered.

Go to art openings. Visit museums. The more art you see the better chance you have to acquire an eye for spotting artwork by up-and-coming artists that might even go up in value over time.

Oh, and watch out: art buying is highly addictive.

all photographs © Juan Madrigal

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