Top tips for investing in art

5 top tips for buying art
from artist & Art Rebellion owner, George Ioannou

1. The days of the ‘Old Masters’ are over – hype sells

The million-dollar question in the art world is who’s trending and who’s the next best investment.  The answer often seems to be the artist with the biggest PR budget. Nowadays it seems like artists will do almost anything to make the headlines or attempt to tag a celebrity to their artwork because ‘hype’ really does sell.

2. It’s no different than buying on the stock exchange

So if you are planning on making a quick profit in the art market then the artist making the most noise is always a great place to start your investment, but be very careful; this type of investing is no different to the stock exchange and you need to know when to get ‘in’ and when to get ‘out’ because over zealous investing can leave you with a big hole in your pocket and a pile of art and if you don’t have the wall space to enjoy it then…it could be a problem.

As a rule, artists will always have one amazing cycle of work in them, so if you haven’t jumped on board the first collection then you might want to think twice about investing in the second because its very rare that a sequel is better than the original. So my top tip is always go for the artworks that made the artist famous…the ones that are probably sold out…they’re sold out for a reason.

3. Use auctions sites at your peril

I would avoid buying art from auction sites; these places can be full of imitations and also be a platform for artists to bid up their own artwork making it look highly desirable…remember “Its all about the hype”. If you are lucky to find an auction site which is regulated then research…research….is key. All artists/publishers are contactable so drop them an email and see if you can get some information about the piece from them. They’ll soon tell you if its fake, stolen or legit and always make sure the piece (if a limited edition print) comes with a C.O.A (Certificate of Authenticity).

4. Choose the art you actually like

So there really is only one ‘Golden Rule’ and thats buy the art that you like…and not what people are telling you to buy.  Trust your instinct and go with what will look good on your wall, not in a box or a tube waiting to go up in value. Art is to be enjoyed and when you are buying it for the first time then it doesn’t have to be so difficult. Spend what you can afford and buy it because you like it…and it’s going to be perfect for that space you need to fill.  

5. Consider investing in prints or originals

Prints can be a great investment but only good if they are part of a limited/special edition, meaning there is a limited number of them. Make sure that the edition size is no bigger than 500 prints (the smaller the better) as anything over isn’t very limited. When buying a limited edition print always ask if there are any Artists Proofs (A/Ps) available, these are the first off the print run for most artists which means they are very collectable and desirable.

Original paintings are amazing because they should be the only one of its kind, so to own the original painting is an amazing piece of art to have. An original painting allows you to get up close to the work of the artist and feel every brush stroke and decision they made. An original painting doesn’t hide its lumps and imperfections, it allow you to see them and feel them in all their glory, something that will nerve unfortunately translate through the print process. Original come at the premium but are well worth the investment.

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