Building an Art Collection in Today’s Art Market

The art market is an exciting one. From fast-paced art auctions to huge art fairs such as Art Basel Miami (attracting over 75,000 visitors), it is both enjoyable and thrilling to see the wide variety of art works represented by thousands of unique artists worldwide. Additionally, with the popularity of online display and sales growing annually, one doesn’t have to look far to find works of all genres, techniques, and price ranges. But discovering and enjoying art are separate from building a collection of art works. Therefore, here are a few tips to building your own art collection in today’s art market.

Traditional Challenges in Collecting Art

Know what you like so if it doesn’t build value, you can still enjoy it. Art is usually something you collect for the long-term, so you need to be excited about it. No matter if it blossoms in price, you know you have purchased something you are proud to own and display.

Do your research—be educated about the artwork and artists which interest you. Now that artists are selling their pieces online and hundreds of experts have written articles and guides to fine art, it is easier than ever to learn about the market and the individual works you are attracted to, as detailed as the quality of specific works by an artist whose work you love! When you do decide to purchase a piece, you can do so with confidence in your choice.

Recognize the difference between buying and collecting art. Selecting works of art by sheer attraction is considered buying. When an art enthusiast reaches the point in purchasing art where strategic purchases are made with long-term financial plans are in mind, one has reached the point of collecting.

Understand the importance of authenticity and provenance. Some of the most beloved art works of all time have been copied, many times out of respect and a desire to recreate such an honored piece, or in the process of learning the technique itself. However, when purchasing an original piece, it is paramount to get an absolute clear picture of what you are purchasing. Documentation surrounding the authenticity and provenance (ownership history) of a work of art is key to establishing its value.

Exhibiting/Displaying the work appropriately. There are so many ways to display works of art; Non-framed works like sculptures and textiles can be a challenge for any collector. For ages, art collectors have wrestled with display decisions ranging from appropriate framing to finding the “perfect” spot in a home or office to display works. This has not become any easier over the years, although interior designers specializing in fine art and gallerists often have an eye for choosing the right location.


New Complications in Collecting Art Today

Purchasing art online—know the risks. Although it is very convenient to sit at home in your PJ’s and shop for art without ever having to fight the thousands of visitors at a major art fair, it does come with risks. It is even more important to understand what you are looking for and who you are buying from. Discover the background on artists you like and galleries you may shop with; scour the internet for reviews and examples of works sold.

The sheer number of works existing today may be equaled by the growth of online art of buyers. Since so many have discovered the benefits of buying art online, art collectors can afford to be selective. Choose whose works you want to invest in and which galleries, fairs, and auctions you want to do business with. The market is competitive enough for discriminating collectors to spend their money where the service is best, so shop comparatively.

Understanding digital art has its own challenges such as piracy, authenticity, and scarcity. When digital art first entered the market over 30 years ago, many did not even consider the issue of copying and distribution of works. With the introduction of blockchain, some of these concerns are quelled with the certificate-style protection afforded to works.

Mastering technological tools for art collecting; you need to know what equipment required for displaying the works you have acquired. When considering digital artwork, think about its longevity; just like a painting you may hang on the wall for years to come, will you want to experience it regularly and can you purchase and maintain the equipment needed to do so?

Estate planning—how will you pass on various works of art. Traditional works were left to heirs or donated to museums and public organizations. Digital art creates new questions about valuing and bequeathing works, while appraisals and insurance policies are more popular than ever for collectors understanding the value in protecting their investments.

Don’t Fear Today’s Art Market

With all the challenges to the art market which have been added to those we understand well; some fresh art collectors may shy away from investing in art. However, don’t let these concerns chase you away. Look to build relationships—with gallerists, experts, and even artists themselves—which will help build your confidence and provide guidance as you create your art collection. When looking for advice to help you navigate the current art market, consider Sybaris Collection. Our team of art experts can help you discover your taste, find pieces to fit your needs, and provide personalized guidance in some of the more technical aspects of collecting—delivery, custom framing and even display options, all within your budget and style.