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3 Mistakes to avoid when starting a contemporary art collection


16th Mar 2021 Art & Theatre

3 Mistakes to avoid when starting a contemporary art collection

Art is a very sophisticated type of investment. It’s growing in popularity with small investors, but it is definitely not for everyone. While it helps to have expert knowledge of the field to be a good collector, it’s not something everyone has the time or dedication for.

Getting into the field without experience can be risky, but once you get some of the basics down, you’ll be able to avoid some serious mistakes early on. Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid when starting a contemporary art collection.

Buying pieces yourself

One of the things we would advise against if you're just getting started is going at auctions and art fairs and buying pieces yourself. It takes a lot of experience to know how much a piece is worth. You also don't want to get swindled by an impostor. The best thing to do if you're new is to work with a broker.

People like are a perfect example. They will help both the seller and the buyer reach a reasonable price. They will also make sure that the piece is authentic, and they have special relationships with galleries and curators that could allow you to get a preferential deal.

Not buying things that you like

You don't need to act like you're into abstract expressionism just to impress a few of your art-loving friends. Your first goal should be to pick pieces that you appreciate unless you want to store them in the back of a vault somewhere.

You should also focus on movements you resonate with and stick with those types of pieces. You'll have much more enthusiasm when learning about them and start amassing valuable knowledge until you become an expert.

You should also listen to your intuition whenever you can. If a piece talks to you, you should buy it if you can, even if it goes against the opinion of the average collector. Even if it doesn't become a valuable piece, you’ll at least be able to enjoy it. You could also be sitting on a pot of gold without realising it.

Not protecting their pieces

You cannot expect to hang valuable pieces of art the same way you do everything else. These will require some care and maintenance, and you have to choose where you will be hanging them carefully.

For instance, you need to make sure that they’re never directly in contact with sunlight. Sunlight can damage the pigment on a painting. Galleries are always trying to find ways to protect their pieces from light as it can damage the colours in pastels, etchings, watercolours, and virtually any work that was done on paper.

If you were thinking of installing these artworks in a busy area near windows, you will need to look at things such as UV filters and sun-blocking blinds. You might also want to look at investing in heavy-duty protective glass.

These are a few examples of common mistakes that too many starting collectors make with contemporary art. Make sure that you avoid these and get as much inside information as you can so you can make wiser decisions.

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