How to Collect Art That is Meaningful to You

man looking at art

 

While navigating the art collecting sphere can be a daunting and sometimes a burdensome process, it is important to not lose sight of the specific reasons you are collecting these pieces. The nature of art collecting is very much grounded in passion and it is therefore essential to keep in mind that in fact scouting pieces that you are drawn to, have a particular interest in, and which you are able to create a good sized collection are all vital signs to move forward.

 

Purchase what you like

A big part of art collecting can entail purchasing art that is on the rise or is deemed by critics to appreciate in value exponentially in the coming years. The best course of action is to invest in art that you have a connection to and genuinely like. Some companies or services specialize in a model that appraises art based on artist, genre, date range, content, materials, size, coloration, style, etc. Be sure to take a look at the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (aka the IRS appraisal) for more information.

 

Research first

The internet can definitely be too overwhelming when deciding what kind of art collection to start, so visiting art galleries, connecting with individuals who work at museums and exploring different art vis-a-vis is the best way to narrow this down. Speaking with professionals in person can help you become involved in a market that has a high-cost barrier to entry (which can be very intimidating to the first time art collector).

 

Putting in the time

Above everything else, remember that crafting a successful art collection is a lengthy process. If you want your collection to have a specific focus, it makes more sense to purchase one or two more valuable pieces per year–to pursue quality rather than quantity.

5 Essential Tips to Plan Your First Art Collection

5 Essential Tips to Plan Your First Art Collection

Art collecting is more than obtaining something valuable. It is about having a collection that others want to see. A good collection tells others about the art that they wouldn’t be able to determine simply by seeing the pieces alone. There are a few keys to planning your first collection.

Establish your tastes

The first step is to determine which pieces appeal to you. When you collect simply on what interests others it’s hard to make a statement with your collection. Forbes recommends touring galleries and other collections. Spend time at auctions and with other collectors before making a purchase. This will give you an opportunity to determine what interests you. Ultimately you are the one who will own the collection. It doesn’t matter if everyone shares your opinions. Your collection allows you to express your unique tastes.

Form a Cohesive Collection

Once you know what you like it’s important to know why you like it. According to ArtBusiness.com the best collections aren’t simply randomly selected pieces, but have something that ties them together. The collection then becomes a work of art in and of itself. When you know why you like a particular piece it makes it easier to select similar pieces. If you select simply based on the interests of others you may find that it is difficult to create your collection.

Create a Budget

Once you have an idea of what interests you it’s important to set a budget. How much are you planning to spend on your collection right now? How many pieces do you want to start with? These are important questions to consider and will help you determine your budget per piece as well. Art collecting can be an expensive hobby and if you spend your entire budget on one piece it may be a while before you are able to add to your collection. In addition to purchasing the piece itself you also need to consider the cost of insuring, obtaining, and displaying it.

Document Everything

Proper storage and documentation is an important key to planning your first collection. You will need to have a filing system in place to keep track of all of your purchases before you start. This paper trail is the key to establishing the authenticity of the pieces you purchase. Careful documentation preserves the value of your collection and is important not only for your own interests, but for insurance purposes as well.

Pick Your First Piece

The first piece in your collection is the building block upon which you will select your other pieces. It is essentially the first step in starting your collection. By this point you should already have a well-defined idea of what your particular tastes are. This piece should fit with the theme that you have determined for your collection. It is okay to spend more on this piece than the others as long as you don’t go over budget and are still able to purchase the remaining pieces for your collection.

15 Essential Terms to Know When Art Auctioning

15 Essential Terms to Know When Art Auctioning

Auctioning can sometimes resemble a sporting match in terms of competitiveness and intensity. Understanding the most basic principles of art auctioning will allow any individual to excel once provided with the opportunity to bid on artwork. Here are 15 terms to keep in mind as you participate in this process. 

Appraisal- The market value assigned to an item by the house specialists.

As is- The item is sold in its current condition, with imperfections and faults at the time of auction.

Auctioneer- The conductor of the auction, usually a trained professional, can be a man or woman. They are usually known for their ability to fetch outstanding prices for items, even in the stingiest of crowds. Auctioneer’s use many different styles that are catered to specific demographics.

Bid- The amount a prospective buyer signals he/she would like to pay for the item currently being auctioned.

Bought In- Art that fails to sell and gets returned to the consignor.

Buyer’s Premium- The fee that the auction house adds to the hammer price of an item, usually a percentage from 10-20%.

Conditions Report- Description of the item up for auction, usually prepared by a specialist.

Consignor- The party responsible for putting the piece up for auction. Can stem from the three D’s known as Divorce, Death and or Debt.

Exhibition History- A complete history of all exhibitions in which an item as appeared. Exhibit history may affect the value of the item.

Hammer Price- The final and winning bid, gets its name from the gavel when it comes down upon completion of an auction.

Increment- The amount by which the next bid must surpass the previous bid.

Protecting a Market- When a dealer places a bid on behalf of an artist to assure that the market value of an artist does not fall. Major artists usually expect this type of financial protection from dealers.

Reserve- The minimum price that a consignor will allow the item to be sold for. If the reserve is not met then the work will be bought in.

Sell Through Rate- The percentage compiled to assess how the auction performed. Rates below 75% are considered to be underperforming.

White Glove Sale-  An auction in with a 100% sell through rate. A party usually ensues after.

Even with basic knowledge of these terms, any beginner can approach a sale at the auction house with confidence and ease. 

Upcoming Picasso Exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery

Qingxiang Guo from the Wanda Group art collection has agreed to loan Picasso’s famous “Claude et Paloma” painting to the Vancouver Art Gallery.

China’s Wanda Group purchased Claude et Paloma for $28.2 million US, including fees at Christie’s November auction in 2013. The oil on canvas work depicts two of Picasso’s children born as a result of his long-term relationship with Françoise Gilot, which will be on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Moreover, Qingxiang Guo oversees the Wanda Group art collection, which is owned by Chinese billionaire Wang Jianlin. Wang Jianlin is known as the richest person in China with a net worth of $31.5 billion US.The Wanda Group is known as one of the largest world property owning companies, as seen by their recent acquisition of the American media company called Legendary Entertainment.

Guo said he agreed to loan the painting to the Vancouver Art Gallery due to his familial connections in the area, with both son and granddaughter born in this city.

Guo also reaffirmed a notion about the “art experience” by stating that he wanted to offer this painting a space where it could be appreciated by the public eye, not only his personal use.

With over a $1.6 billion value, the works owned by the Wanda Group consist of over one-thousand paintings ranging from Pollock to Picasso.

Around 30 years ago, Guo founded the art collection that fueled his lifelong passion for all different types of art. To mark his first purchase, he gladly invested in a painting by Guanzhong Wu, who is a Chinese artist known for finding a balance between western and oriental artistic styles.

vancouver art galleryThe gallery has works by Impressionists and Modernists from not only Western tradition, but also from Chinese culture. Throughout this process, Guo has worked with a team of around 10 professionals to grow and expand this collection to what it is today.

This painting, which was crafted in 1950, depicts a brother and a sister in their everyday lives. Claude et Paloma exhibits all the visual forms of a children’s world including fat stubby fingers and the decorative ornaments from an adolescent’s perspective.

This work by Picasso lets viewers into the children’s playful, imaginary world in relation to the various patterns and playful visual components that highlight Picasso’s artistic versatility in his field. Instead deriving from historical or political subjects, this Spanish cubist chose to draw from the simplicity from a child’s gaze.

As well, Guo said what is not as widely known is that the painting is more than a portrait of two children: The painting depicts both Claude and Paloma as well as Picasso and Gilot, which provides an interesting visual dynamic for onlookers to view.

The Top 3 Art Dealers to Watch

The Top 3 Art Dealers to Watch by Etienne Kiss-Borlase

What defines a great art gallery? Is it the quality of its dealer, or is it the works showcased? The answer is probably both, but the later often depends on the former. Without a talented dealer, there’s no real sense of guidance or taste in terms of defining the kind of work the gallery will exhibit. Here are three of the most important dealers at the forefront of design right now.

Maria Foerlev from Etage Projects, Copenhagen

In only three years after opening her gallery, the Danish dealer has been able to establish a solid reputation as a forward thinker. She’s known for having a keen sense of what’s next in art, fashion, and furniture. She was an early supporter of artists like Pettersen & Hein, known for their Brutalist sculptures, Sabine Marcelis and her neon-and-resin lights, and Thomas Poulsen, also known as FOS. Her refined taste comes from a combination of having a childhood immersed in art (she was raised in a house designed by none other than renowned Arne Jacobsen) and her studies at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Patrick Parrish from the Patrick Parrish Gallery, New York City

Some people may know Patrick’s collections from his days when he dealt 90’s vintage design in Mondo Cane. But it wasn’t until 2010, via his blog Mondoblogo, that he became associated with conceptual furniture duo RO/LU from Minneapolis. The artistic pair were part of Patrick’s first contemporary exhibit at Mondo Cane, featuring furniture that referenced icons like Rudolph Schindler and Scott Burton. By 2014 he opened Patrick Parrish Gallery in Tribeca, where he now exhibits work from artists like Jesse Moretti (painting), Ian McDonald (architectural ceramics), and Marcus Tremonto (lighting).

Amaryllis Jacobs and Kwinten Lavigne from Maniera, Brussels

Amaryllis and Kwinten founded their gallery in 2014. They started off by sectioning off half of their apartment, which happens to be a former 1920’s lingerie factory, and inviting the public into their home. Known for commissioning artists and architects that make functional objects, today this couple has shown at places like Design Miami and sold numerous pieces to Belgian museums. As of late, they will finally be moving into a bigger exhibition space. Their first collection features works from Kersten Geers David Van Severen and architect Anne Holtrop. They also intend to showcase conceptual artists whose work is highly inspired by architecture.

Final Thoughts

As a collector, keeping an eye out for influential dealers is a great way to discover new artists, find truly unique pieces, and stay up to date on the latest artistic trends. Who are some of your favorite dealers?