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.

What You Need to Know About Art Authentication

Although it can be a bit difficult to decipher whether or not a certain individual is deemed as a “qualified authority,” when approaching a conversation with this kind of individual, be sure to make note of the following:

Generally speaking, individuals who are known as qualified authorities are people who have extensively studied the artists, published scholarly papers about them and Also, another important attribute of a qualified authority is if this certain individual has sold a mass scale of anywhere between twenty to a hundred works by the given artist, or has previously written or is currently writing a piece highlighting the artist’s life work.

art authenticationQualified authorities may also be the artists themselves, relatives of artists, employees of artists, direct, individuals who have legal, formal, or estate-granted entitlements to provide their professional opinions on works of art created by particular artists. Among the rest of these important attributes, qualified authorities are those recognized throughout the art community as the professionals who are able to provide in depth analysis of a particular artist and their work.

Before purchasing art, be sure to look out for these traits that indicate the individual is not a professional qualified authority in the art community.

► Individuals who have written about an artist’s work or experience, but are not the primary experts in the art field.
► People who in any way, shape, or form attribute their art to artists, but who have no concrete proof of attribution and who are not recognized authorities on those artists.
► During this process, individuals that believe or sell art on the fact since art is signed by a certain artist, there is no question that work or painting is authentic.
► People who say “that’s what the previous owner told me,” but who have no other forms of proof.
► Be sure to keep a lookout for individuals who may be self-proclaimed qualified authorities, but who are not recognized by their peers as authorities.
► Art appraisers who are not recognized authorities on the artists in question, but who appraise the art as
being by those artists anyway.
► Individuals who are unable to produce tangible first-party proof that their art is by certain artists. This lack of evidence therefore highlights that you should in fact not go through with the deal.

Along with these tips, it is important to utilize a fair amount of common sense before you purchase art from a certain person. In addition to being extremely careful under all circumstances, make sure you have concrete proof that everything you’re being told is true before you make the purchase. Also, if you have the time or resources, make an extra effort to look for a second opinion to reaffirm any lingering doubts or concerns you may have.

Rare Swatch Collection Sells for CHF 1.3 Million

Swatch by Keith HaringA rare collection of 1,000 original watches by Swatch were recently sold by Sotheby’s at a Geneva auction for CHF1.3 million ($1.3 million). The collection was comprised of the timepieces created in the brands most popular period in the 1980’s. The brand was so popular that it’s credited with saving the Swiss watchmaking industry.

The collected had been stored in an attic in canton Neuchâtel for years. It included 380 prototypes, as well as technical drawings, dials, sketches, and artwork spanning the 1981-1986 period. It belonged to the Swiss designers Bernard Müller and Marlyse Schmid, who were responsible for creating much of Swatch’s iconic visual identity in the early 1980s alongside Müller’s engineer brother Jacques.

The Schmid & Müller collection is a delight for collectors and appreciators. As Sotheby’s watches department manager Pedro Reiser explained,

It’s very rare to have such an extensive collection. This completely unique and historic selection of timepieces, components, and designs maps out the creative process during the fascinating early years of Swatch.”

Swatch was founded because it’s creators saw the need for a Swiss-made plastic watch that didn’t sacrifice quality while hitting an affordable price point. It’s development required technical innovation, with each watch only having 51 parts, as opposed to nearly 100 needed to make a traditional wristwatch. This reduction in parts allows it to be produced for 80% cheaper and assembled using a fully automated system.

For us the challenge was to establish plastic as a noble product,” said Müller. “Among the various components, the watch dial was the most expensive piece. This initially meant we were only able to use one or two colours at most. Swatch’s almost instant success allowed us free reign with our creativity, enabling us to change the look in an infinite number of ways following new fashions and trends.”

The Schmid & Müller collection contained a number of iconic pieces, including the original Jellyfish Swatch — the first transparent watch that started the trend of see-through watch movements. It was designed by Marlyse Schmid, and it was part of a 200 piece limited edition.

It also included original prototypes from the “Swatch Art Special” series, including the first model featuring artwork by “Kiki Picasso.” At the height Swatch’s popularity at the end of the 1990s, a single model sold for CHF60,000.

Another highlight was a series of models and artwork by US artist Keith Haring, who took two years to come up with his 1986 collection of six designs.

There’s been renewed interest in vintage watches as of late. Back in April, Sotheby’s auction house in Hong Kong sold one of the biggest private collections of Swatch watches in the world. The collected contained 5,800 timepieces that had been collected over a period of 25 years. It sold for $6 million.

Müller hopes that his collection is able to stay in one piece and enrich other Swatch collections.

Swiss Cracking Down On Art Market Laundering

auction-dayAfter the recent FIFA scandal emerged, the Swiss government is now looking to crack down on the laundering of money and even art.

According to some sources, Russian leader Vladimir Putin bribed a FIFA executive with a Picasso painting in order to have Russia be a future host for the World Cup. The Swiss government already passed a law in parliament limiting the amount of cash that can be traded in a transaction as well as the ability to freeze assets in Swiss Bank accounts. The once highly trusted bank accounts in Switzerland, commonly used to smuggle or launder money, are now getting a major face lift due to the recent number of crimes gaining publicity.

The new law, which will be implemented in the beginning of 2016, only allows 100,000 CHF ($104,000) to be transferred in any cash transaction. This change directly targets the art market, since many auctions have pieces which sell well over the 100,000 CHF limit being imposed.

As the head of the Swiss Money Laundering Office, Stiliano Ordolli explains, these transfers are:

Payable by credit card or the seller must carry out due diligence obligations. Either the seller does not accept it or they must ask additional questions to be sure of the legal origins of funds.”

The reason for the change is not to make it difficult, but rather to protect people from laundering and other forms of extortion which can fly under the radar when cash is changing hands.

This move is expected to put a stop to fraud since all auctions must be made public and leave a paper trail. Recently, Freeport leader and art leader, Yves Bouvier was arrested for fraudulently selling paintings which were not done by the artist.

For more about Etienne, please visit Etienne Kiss-Borlase’s Official Website.