Most importantly, if you want to build an art collection, you should think long term and only buy the things you love. “We’ve always been interested in art that bothers us. If it’s easily accessible, that’s a whole different story,” says Arthur Goldberg, an avid art collector for over 35 years. “We’ve always bought new artists too, because we wanted to be involved with the art of our generation.” He added that is how he and his wife Carol had come to buy some of a young CindySherman‘s photos many years ago. The cost? Between $50 and $100 each.
(Forbes, Kathryn Tully)
Buying Emerging Contemporary is akin to venture capital investing. A common rule-of-thumb practiced by experienced Emerging Contemporary collectors is similar to that practiced by venture capitalists — one in ten. Of every ten works of art purchased, one is likely to increase exponentially in value, while the others are likely to become worthless. The one gain should more than offset the losses on the other nine. Thus it is not uncommon for an avid and successful collector to be left with numerous, if not hundreds, of effectively valueless works of art by the end of his collecting career.
Buy with your eyes, not your ears. Works of art are not fungible commodities. Connoisseurship counts: condition, quality, message, visual impact, physical viability (stability of media) and how the work contributes to the narrative of art history all matter in sustaining value over time, even if the artist is the hottest buy of the moment.
Having an investment that you can hang on your walls is arguably the best attribute of art. In the U.S., most individuals who want to invest in art do so personally and directly and make it an integral part of their lifestyle. When a good art adviser starts with new collectors to build a collection from the beginning, the adviser does not just instruct them to go out and buy x,y, and z, but rather, will try to understand the tastes, interests and intellectual preferences of the collectors to help them build a collection around a thoughtful theme. After all, even if it is an investment, the collectors are going to be living with it everyday in their home, so it is critical that they like and understand what they are buying.
(The Wall Street Journal)
As investments go, putting a few hundred or thousand pounds into contemporary art is pretty risk free – assuming that you like what you buy. It is also surprisingly affordable.
Prices for the paintings and photographs that form the majority of work exhibited typically start at around £150, and there are usually plenty of significant pieces for a few hundred pounds. Even the larger works mostly fall in the £1,000-£2,000 price bracket.
However, choose well, and you could see the value of the work jump in just a few years. Just hope you don't become so attached to the piece that you would never consider selling it.