Manual Investing in Art: Investing in Contemporary Art

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  • Choose the best work of a lesser artist, not the worst work of a great artist;
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Filter by Date China is becoming increasingly important in the global art market Several highly publicised sales have seen Chinese collectors win at auction in recent years. What is happening to create such rapid upward movement? Four reasons Chinese collectors invest in contemporary art Chinese buyers are becoming increasingly important in the art investment world for several reasons. What are Chinese collectors buying? What can we learn?

Decoding the Inexact Science of Buying Art: Q&A With Fine Art Group CEO Philip Hoffman

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The right framing and a good clean can make a big difference, while a good restorer can bring a painting back to life.

8 Contemporary Artists You Should Invest in Right Now - Catawiki

Making this extra investment, when required, can pay big dividends in the sale room. To know a piece of art you have to see it in the flesh, to touch it, even smell it! The back of a painting can often tell you more than the front, and nine times out of 10 your first instinct about a picture is the right one. You should get to know your painting as well as you can before you buy it.

What is the condition? Will I need to spend money getting it reframed? Where will it hang? Buy the best you can afford instead of mediocre examples by several artists. Their prices went up during the boom and then down — with a bang — afterwards. Real quality stands the test of time and endures beyond changing trends in taste. Painting is a craft, the brush work should be studied carefully, learning to recognise the hand of the artist without relying on a signature.

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Good condition is essential, and the original frame desirable. Social and political injustice in 19th century Ireland was seldom portrayed by native painters but mostly by visiting artists such as the American, Howard Helmick and the Scot Erskine Nicol. Their paintings of traditional Irish rural interiors — a record of the life and customs of our ancestors — can still be bought for a fraction of the cost of a minor Paul Henry painting.

Topographical views — an invaluable part of our heritage — are also always sought after regardless of who painted them, and can often be acquired for very modest sums. And try not to always sit in front of a computer browsing galleries and salerooms, get out there and stand in front of things.

Is it a good example by the artist? Is it sensibly priced?

Lack of transparency

How is the market performing? The Irish art market is currently at an interesting place. There is a definite sense confidence is returning to the market, so I think right now there are opportunities to be had. Try to view as much art as possible to see what pictures or sculptures you like.


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The quality of exhibitions being put on by the art galleries throughout Ireland is superb and admission is generally free. Sign up with auctioneers to receive catalogues or view them free online, and attend pre-auction viewings which show a great cross-sections of art from all periods and at all price levels. The key thing to look for are marbles with their original surfaces.

A marble with its intended surface, which has not been lost due to weathering or overcleaning, is likely to retain its value.

Is Investing In Fine Art Your Key To Millions?

It would be a great find if one were to come across one of his marbles in good condition. At present Victorian art is undervalued because it has been out of fashion since the s. Victorian art is generally valued on the basis of three criteria — the subject, the quality of the picture and, importantly, the frame. I always advise: quality rather than quantity.

Buyers whose sole interest is in investment invariably come a cropper. Get advice, and use the myriad tools available — including the internet — to research works. Buy the best work of a lesser artist than the worst work of a great artist.

Four reasons Chinese collectors invest in contemporary art

Dare to be different. Contemporary art is flavour of the month now but there are world -class works available by artists that sell for less than they did 20 years ago. Thinking of investing in art?