Collecting art can be an exciting and fulfilling endeavor. Art adds so much to your home and life. When starting out, define certain criteria for the collection you want to build. This will help you focus and benefit the strength of the collection if it has a cohesive theme. There are different advantages and disadvantages to collecting works by either emerging or established artists. Here we will discuss some of the pros and cons for your art collecting strategy.
Collecting Emerging Artists
Acquiring works by emerging artists can be rewarding because there is an element of discovery and you are playing an important role in supporting that artist’s career. Many emerging artists have a fresh, avant-garde style or technique. Their works are also more affordable than that of more established artists. Be cautious when buying works from an untested artist. An emerging artist can be hot one day and gone the next. This makes your investment in their work a higher risk if you expect the value of your collection to grow over time. Purchasing works very early in an artist’s career can be risky as well. Their style is likely still developing and an early work may be less desirable if they become known for a different aesthetic later in their career.
Being an artist is a difficult career and as a result there are more emerging artists then those who truly become established. With so much talent out there it can be confusing about how to choose the best for your collection. Befriend art galleries that represent emerging artists that fit your taste. A good art gallery can be a valuable source for learning. Look at a lot of art online and in art magazines to better understand trends and which artists are beginning to get noticed by art world authorities. It’s a good idea to follow an artist for a while to see how active they are in both producing and exhibiting their art. If you decide your collection will include emerging artists, always buy artworks that you love and connect with on a deeper level. This way you can’t loose.
Collecting art of established artists means your collection can have increased prestige and reduced risk on investment. They have already proven their technical abilities and artistic vision. It is more likely their works will increase in value over time as they have built a strong collector base, through exhibitions and critiques. In some cases, established artists are already being associated with art movements or categories that could have a lasting contribution in art history. In the process of educating yourself about a particular established artist, you will find you have greater resources and more factual vs speculative information to use. You will also be able to see more examples of their work to see how their style or technique has evolved and improved over the course of their career.
With notoriety comes higher prices. You may also find available works will be more difficult to find. Dealers may hold works back waiting for a particular collector or art fair. Again, find a dealer or consultant that can help you navigate the process of finding and choosing quality works. They will also be able to advise you which pieces over an artist’s career will likely have lasting value and best fit your collecting criteria.
Perhaps beyond just being an established artist are listed artists. This term is used frequently within auction houses and by appraisers. A listed artist generally means one that is listed in databases of secondary auction sales, such as AskArt, Artnet or ArtPrice. Others in the art world may use the term to distinguish those artists who have had a successful career from those who have contributed to the development of an important art movement. These artists are the stars of art history and are prized by both collectors and institutions alike. Building a collection that includes important listed artists means you can track an artist’s price history on the secondary market. This allows you to make better investment decisions and spot market trends. Listed artists are often in higher demand and can contribute to a prestigious collection of art. However, depending on the artist, collecting their work requires buyer due diligence to ensure you are buying wisely. After all, the more important the artist or artwork, the greater the opportunity for corruption.
The key to collecting art of emerging, established or important listed artists is to educate yourself on the artist and market. You should know where to look for quality artworks and how to get sound advice from experts. We encourage you to constantly be training your eye to recognize true quality over trendy hype through museum exhibitions, art magazines, galleries and auctions.
If you are thinking of starting a collection or simply fine tuning your criteria, Ackerman’s Fine Art would like to help you in the process. Call us to discuss your goals and how we can help you through the process.