Great article from Forbes on How to Buy Artwork. Take a read....
Jay Rutland is the Creative Director at the prestigious Maddox Gallery. With four sites across London, you'll also find gallery outposts in snowy Gstaad and most recently, Los Angeles, which opened last year to great success.
The international group specializes in contemporary art where they thoughtfully source, curate and exhibit the best of the best when it comes to high flying artists as well as newcomers to the art scene. Works are available from the likes of Warhol, Banksy, Hirst, Basquiat, Lichtenstein, Emin, Hambleton, Koons, and KAWS and their represented roster includes talent from Massimo Agostinelli, The Connor Brothers to Mr. Brainwash and Dan Baldwin. As a leader in his field, Rutland shares his top tips when it comes to investing in contemporary art.
Go with your gut: It may sound like a cliché but the basis for any great collection comes from trusting yourself. Go after what you love. Art advisors can guide you but there’s no substitute for purchasing work that you instinctively connect with. That’s how my collection started. I bought my first Banksy piece in my early twenties purely because I loved the piece.
Do your homework: If something has caught your eye, make sure you do your research. Use the internet, read up on the artist, check out their CV, their past exhibitions and previous sales. Check if the artist has shown with credible galleries, look at their secondary market. Arm yourself with as much background information as possible.
Keep your ear to the ground: I say this time and time again, but do not ignore emerging artists. I think artists on the verge of making it are often undervalued, but the appeal of investing in them is the opportunity, the ‘get them while you can’ element. It makes the buying process much more fun and if you really feel they’re going places, you’re an early investor in their career, not just the piece. That can be exciting. That said, then you have someone like Richard Hambleton who was a pioneer of street art in 1980s New York and a contemporary of Basquiat and Haring but refused to play the game and court the art market. He was known by people in the know and since his recent passing, he’s getting a lot of the shrewd investment buzz. The more people discover him and realize his talent and significance…well, I think we are going to see his prices rocket.
See as much as you can: It’s wise to keep your options open and go to as many fairs and auctions as you can. Just get out there and visit as many galleries and museums- they’re free and it will enable you to think about what you like and don’t like, what resonates with you. The more you look at art, the more fluent you become to responding to it. Fairs are great as they expose you to a diverse array of work from a broad selection of artists, both renowned and emerging. I think going to a reputable fair is a really good starting point.
Think long-term: Don’t worry about how artists perform in the short-term. You have to remember that the art market is unpredictable. That’s why it’s always better to chase what you really love, even if you value it more than the market does.
Take your time: Most of the collectors I know never buy anything on impulse. Don’t rush the process. Wait. Part of the fun is taking your time, training your eye and doing your research. Buying art is not like buying a new coat, it can be a lifelong investment. You want to feel confident when you buy, especially if you’re buying for the first time.
Talk to people: Talk to as many people as you can. Gallerists, art enthusiasts, artists, your family, your friends. The art scene is very sociable. Be part of the conversation, open up a dialogue and listen to what others have to say. Especially if they appear to know more than you do.
Be true to yourself: Forget trends, forget what may be perceived as fashionable or cool. Like I said before, the art world is fickle and if you aren’t careful, you can easily go down a path just because you’ve been swayed by others. I’ve seen the huge buzz around an artist and then two years later they disappear because they didn’t have the staying power or the substance, or they were gimmicky and quickly forgotten. Always trust your own taste and buy with your eyes, not your ears.
Be open to different mediums: I get asked a lot about the future of the art market and one of the things I’ve noticed is that photography is definitely on the rise. It’s a very exciting medium to explore and invest in and there’s a huge demand for it, especially with world-class fairs like Photo London and big names like the world’s leading wildlife fine art photographer David Yarrow performing extremely well at auction. I think if you collect with a closed mind, it won’t do you any favors. Be open to thinking outside the box, that’s what art is all about.
Ensure the work is veritable: Make sure whoever you buy is veritable and provides certificates of authentication. This is very, very important. Only ever buy from a reputable source. Do the same amount of research that you did on the artist, on who you’re buying from. Trust me, you won’t regret it.