Buy Art that You Love. Try to Love Doing Your Homework.

Aug 30, 2016

I always hated homework – especially math. But it was a necessary part of life. When you purchase art, doing your homework can be just as important.

In 2013, the estimated size of the global art market was over $60 billion. Since many of these transactions can be private, some elements of the art world can be opaque. Amelia Brankov of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC uses the contrast of buying a home to illustrate this.

When buying a home, you have a formalized process whereby two parties are represented by an independent sales agent. For the most part, a formal evaluation of the home and its value is completed before signing off. In the art world this is not always the case.

Thankfully today there are an increasing number of tools at your disposal to make wise and informed art purchases.

Litigation is one area that has helped bring awareness to the importance of authentication.

High profile cases have seen courts come down hard on art collectors who were found to have not done their due diligence when buying and selling work. Some art collectors who unknowingly purchased fakes have found themselves with little legal recourse; courts may find that a collector failed to pursue authentication in a timely manner. The lesson here: financial losses are so much worse than angry teachers. So do your homework and have the work authenticated.

If you don’t like it, don’t buy it. I hear so many art collectors, advisors, and gallerists say this on a regular basis.

The key to buying art is finding something you actually like. Once you find something you like, use this key to open the door to deeper questions around the art and artist. David De Buck, a gallerist and owner of De Buck Gallery in New York advises to dig into the background of the artist. For example, look at the age of the artist and who has collected the work, or look into which museums and collections the work can be found in.

De Buck goes into further detail to explain the primary and secondary art markets and how they can shape and validate pricing. He suggests looking at auction sale prices to act as guidance.

Hear more from our art experts as they dive deeper into the methods behind art collecting. And the best part? No homework when you’ve finished watching. To learn other great tips, check out the webinar on PRACTICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ART INVESTMENT. WATCH NOW


Matt Beasant

Matt Beasant is a self-taught Canadian artist and experienced writer, born and raised in Northwestern Ontario. Represented by established Canadian Galleries, Matt has exhibited at the Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair and the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition in 2016. His work is characterized by crisp lines and bold gradients which are applied by hand using many thin layers of paint –...

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