Collecting art, especially paintings, drawings and prints is proving to be one of the better investments in this recession. There are well establishes secrets to successful art collecting and investments that make collecting art profitable even during harsh economic times.
The recession has walloped other luxury items such as top of the line cars, jets and real estate. Yet art, especially established art by modern and historical masters continues to sell at a fair price.
Unlike the recession of the nineties that saw a great crash in prices, the recent sales at the auction houses were good, surprising doom and gloomers.
The art market today is truly global. There are more buyers than ever before. Even though sales are down and Europe is hit hard by the recession there are more buyers than ever before.
Tip #1 Collect the Renowned Masters of Art pre 1960
Historically, fine art by well respected masters will hold its value. The crash that happened in the recession of the nineties was due to an overly inflated market caused by Japanese investors who paid far too much for works and then as their companies floundered flooded them into the market.
The names of the art masters are well known because they understood to be the world’s greatest artists. In the art of the Western world Van Gogh, Monet, Turner, Rembrandt and Da Vinci are some of the masters.
What makes an artist a master?
The answer is somewhat of a secret. It is the key to finding artists in one’s own time who are likely to become masters in the future.
All of the greatest artists have influenced other artists since the Renaissance, including the artists of the later part of the Twentieth century and artists today. For instance, one of the most influential artists is J.M.W.Turner. Without his work we would not have Modern or Contemporary Art as we know it.
An artist whose work has, is or will influence others will continue to rise in value and be worth more than a comparably skilled artist of this or any other time. The most splendid of today’s Impressionists lacks the influence of Monet, Degas, Renoir and of course, Camille Pissarro.
Tip # 2 Hold Contemporary Work Owned
In a recession, what does and is losing value – and sales is the contemporary work of living artists. This art is more vulnerable to a recession. The contemporary art of its time may be revered, but that the work of any living – or even recently living artist will hold or increase its value over time is much more of a gamble compared to collecting fairly priced works by revered but long gone artists.
The reports coming in from ARCO indicate that prices are between 15-25% lower now for works of established Contemporary artists. Sales are down as collectors become cautious.
Recently, sales of Warhol prints have faltered. Possibly, like much Contemporary Art they were purchased on speculation, since Warhol seemed hot. The difference between Warhol and many “hot” Contemporary artists is that Warhol’s work has influenced and inspired two, possibly three generations.
A collector who owns Contemporary Art generally is well advised to hold onto it if possible. Prices will go up again for good artists. In time, independent of the economy, they will skyrocket for influential artists.
Tip #3 Discover and Collect Emerging, Cutting Edge Art (How to Do That)
As an investment two dimensional works such as paintings, prints and drawings make the best investments whatever the economy. Given the international nature of the art world works that can easily be transported across a border, stored or displayed make the best investments, if all else is equal.
Investing in three splendid transportable works by an artist beats collecting one equally splendid huge work for the same price. If push comes to shove it is easier to sell a smaller work. What counts most is the quality of the work—is it one of the artist’s best—not the size. This assumes the artist is one worth collecting.
Those headline generating record breaking paintings by Picasso, Klimpt and van Gogh are not huge works of art in size. The Mona Lisa , the best known painting in the world, is not huge.
History teaches us that art that is fashionable and prized in its own time may not become the most valuable art from that time. Visual perception is based on impressions of light received by the brain from the eyes. These impressions are decoded based on memories. What is really new or strange is actually more difficult for us to see as we lack the necessary memories.
Dealers, critics and collectors can fail to appreciate a really new style of painting because it is actually more difficult to see. If an artists’ work is strange and kind of difficult to see—take a second look! Artists who were “difficult” to see and misunderstood include almost all of the world’s great artists!
It can take a generation or two before an artist’s worth can be appreciated fully as great artists—which are the best to collect!—are popular with succeeding generations and also influence the work of other artists who create work that is a next step.
For instance, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali are two artists’ who work clearly continues to affect and be emulated by other artists. When an artist comes along and creates a whole new way of art, and says two of the artists who influenced her are Warhol and Dali that is meaningful. As the artist gains recognition, smart collectors listen to who are her influencing artists.
There is a great deal of stuff being produced that is a kind of knock-off of the work of Dali and Warhol. That is a different kind of influence. Even if these wanna-be type works show in good galleries or gain acclaim there is no step forward in the evolution of art. As an investment, what seems familiar or much like the work of a revered master is probably not a wise choice.
Law of the Lord is Perfect, 2008
Acrylic and watercolor on canvas
Available through the Kezsler Gallery
Tip #4 Start Small. Wade In.
Make less costly mistakes by spending less for collectable art.
Collect fine art prints. Fine art prints are limited edition, signed and numbered prints. They can include etchings, screen-prints, lithographs, and Giclée prints. They can be found on an artist’s primary market for living artists and on the secondary market for artists since Renaissance times. If you have found an emerging or contemporary artist whose work you want to collect, search to see if that artist has a website. You may discover originals, but more likely prints available on many artists’ websites. Many artists today sell their paintings through galleries, but reserve prints to sell themselves. An artist’s prints can skyrocket in value over time. Consider the Warhol’s screen-prints!
The question to ask when collecting contemporary art as an investment is, “Will the work of this artist be appreciated by later generations and influence and even help inspire the work of other artists?” For every great artist the answer to this one question is, yes. It is the question that sets great artists apart from all others.
Whether the economy is good or bad, it is difficult to find a better investment than the work of an emerging or established artist whose work and ideas will surely influence artists of the next generation and the future of art – or a fairly priced work by a recognized master whose work has inspired other great artists.
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art.
Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art theory is based at the intersection of ancient spiritual wisdom and cutting-edge contemporary science. It shows us a new and enhanced spiritual and science-based way to see the world. It is a life changing vision that can even become an actual new way of seeing that is a fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Can this be true? See for yourself.
Change the way you see the world through art made of the Word of scripture. Check out the Fine Art Limited Edition prints, decorative prints, books, and printables that are currently available to you through Judy Rey’s Art of Seeing The Divine Shop. You don’t have to buy to avail yourself of the art and inspiration available there. However, if you select to collect investment quality archival art, or decorate your home with images created with strokes that are original letters from Bible texts, or buy a gift for someone special, there is a secure shopping cart that accepts most credit cards so your purchase is easy to accomplish. https://artofseeingthedivine.com.