Investing in art is a lot trickier than putting it on your wall. The art world is a realm filled with splashes of colour, subtle nuances and every shade and texture you can imagine. But, the world of investing in art is simply black and white. All you have to do is buy a piece of artwork and hope the value goes up.
But, is it really as easy as it sounds?
Well, it is. Except for the fact that the value is often only realised when you sell it. That’s why it’s important for you to know what you’re doing so you don’t make these mistakes:
1. There are no potential buyers
You can only sell your piece of art when there’s a demand for it . This can depend on many factors such as market sentiment and timing. Furthermore, not finding a buyer could indicate that the artwork isn’t a collector’s item. Thus, not a good investment. So, before you buy, do your homework and find out what prices have been set for a specific artist. Also, check whether there’s high demand for that particular artist.
2. The restoration costs exceed the artwork’s value
Try not to look at art in the same way you would look at a house. You can buy a house and fix it thereby increasing the value of your investment. However, if restoring the cost of a piece of art outweighs the value of the piece, then you may never recover the money you paid. This rule also applies to the frame. The piece could be ruined trying to fix a bad frame.
3. It isn’t a slice of history
The work MUST have historical importance. This is of course apart from aesthetic merit. It’s because of historical importance that earlier works often sell at a cheaper price than later works by the same artist. Also remember, the general public must be able to recognize the artist’s contribution to art history for the piece to be in demand.
4. It’s a fake
There are a lot of imitation artists that plagiarize the work of famous artists. Therefore, do your research and ask an expert before buying any art. If you find that the work you’ve bought is a fake, you won’t find it easy getting your money back. Furthermore, be careful of auctions held in hotel lobbies or storage facilities. Yes, they usually do have amazing bargains, but this is ONLY if you know what you’re doing.
5. It’s overpriced
The value of a piece of art is determined by what the seller’s willing to sell for ad what the buyer’s prepared to pay. So again, do your homework. Find out how much previous pieces for a specific artist from the same period went for. This will give you a good indication of how much the work should sell for.
Never buy a piece of art you don’t like. You could end up stuck with it if you can’t sell it, for the rest of your life!
The Art Curator Gallery, deals in South African Investment Art, and specializes in the selling & purchasing of South African Old Master Paintings. Click here to contact the Gallery if you are looking to purchase, or sell any specific Art.