Starting your art collecting path can be daunting. But it doesn’t need to be.
The first work I bumped into at the recent international art fair Sydney Contemporary was Transportation by Damien Hirst, price on application but understood by many to be offered at $900,000 – the kind of price that makes collecting art appear a hobby for Russian oligarchs. But I collect art and I am not rich. And most people I know, including very serious collectors, began their collections with $1,000 or less.
Gallerists and artists need collectors and we are actually expected to start small. Even the gallery noted as featuring the most expensive item at the Sydney Contemporary, Gow Langsford in Auckland, sells younger, emerging artists alongside scary brand-name labels such as Warhol and Picasso.
Here are a couple art collecting tips to help you get going:
- Know your taste: It may seem simple. But it’s important that you know what you like. “What kind of art catches your eye and get your mind spinning? It’s the most important question a collector can ask, forming the basis of all great collections. Whether you like Pop art, portraitphotography, landscape painting, or works by Native American artists, focusing on specific kinds of art will help narrow your search and build better relationships with top dealers and artists,” according to Artspace.
- Know your space: The context of your collection is important. “Think about where and how you’ll be displaying your new treasures and how they’ll hang (or perhaps artfully clash?) with what’s already there. For those dedicating time to building their holdings (rather than just filling a wall or two), storage may be necessary—there are now plenty of companies that offer facilities as well as art moving and installation.”