Art as an investment?
History shows us that the greatest artists have constantly re-invented their subject matter, style, and ideas. An Investor will look to buy into the story of the artist and will look for interest and evolution in both the artist and the work. Artists should always challenge themselves to ensure continuing artistic development and create work that illustrates their journey.
Artists worth investing in will have rubbed shoulders and exhibited with high quality mentors and contemporaries. Often the lesser known artist in a mixed show or gallery is the diamond in the rough and potentially the best return on investment. They may be represented by galleries, but buyers and collectors with a keen eye will also be looking for the next big thing and increasingly, are using Art Fairs and the internet to discover potential investments, by buying direct from the artist. Those with the talent, presence and tenacity are the artists who will succeed
For an artist to succeed in any market they must have a single minded ambition, energy, motivation and dedication, together with a total belief and passion for their work. A mistake is a lesson learned and criticism is merely a pointer towards future success. With the explosion of the internet, galleries and agents should no longer be relied upon for marketing, advertising, networking and public relations as they are now only part of the overall requirements for an artist to succeed. Artists with both talent and an understanding of business will make the best investment.
When looking for an artist to invest in, whilst it can be of benefit if the artist has some investors who have already starting collecting their work, this is not always the case. Some may feel that the bigger a following an artist has the greater their reputation and name, which increases the value of their work. Other collectors however will take a less cautious approach, preferring to be an earlier investor and may introduce the artist to their investment circles, benefiting from “discovering” the artist, both financially and esoterically. The analogy of share purchasing can be drawn, as the earlier an investor is on board, providing the underlying investment is sound, the greater the chance of the investment increasing in value.
Finally always, always, always invest in talent. Artists who have been given recognition and stature by producing obscure art with a massive price tag are a thing of the past. The pendulum is swinging back in favour of real artists, those who impress not depress. Fundamental talents such as the ability to draw are once again good for an artist, good for art itself, and the best indication for investors who are in search of the real deal.