Smart Art Investments

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Knowing the Investment Potential of an Artist's Work

An artist’s background is important and definitely impacts on the value of their artworks. Most of us understand that an artwork by an established or accomplished artist is worth more than that of an lesser known artist. An investment quality contemporary artwork is usually made by an artist who has specific art education, who has successfully exhibited his or her works and has some gallery placements. Like all material investments, artworks represent both intrinsic value and expected return.

In term of education, mastering art technical skills and knowledge is currently a desirable educational stepping stone for successful artists. Many aspiring artists acquire an Master of Fine Arts degree. In earning an advanced degree, students make artwork under the tutelage of working artists who teach both skills and ideas. Formal education in art exposes aspiring artists to peer criticisms and guidance, helps them build connections and relationships that assist them to have their work exhibited as well as having other advantages both for the practical act of making art and in having the skills and forming the relationships to promote that art.

Artists build their careers over time. For any artist to become successful it is necessary for them to promote their artwork and this is generally done through exhibits. An artist who may be a worthy investment has a mixture of solo or two artist exhibitions roughly every two years in notable galleries. Most favourable artists will also have their art hung in museum exhibitions. A placement of an artwork with a museum is considered a significant achievement. In most cases, particularly with emerging artists - if their education and exhibition history indications are favourable and the artwork is aesthetically pleasing to you, then it is a good investment. Depending on what stage of their career an artist is currently. It may also be informative to look at the auction results of their artworks to see if the value of their artwork is steadily increasing. As a tangible investment, artworks represent both intrinsic value and expected return. As a final rule remember to buy only what you love as every art investment is always going to be partly ornamental and partly investment.

This article is reprinted with permission from Sian Whitehall, co-founder of Smart Art Investments. Sian has built a knowledge base of Australian artists and art investment information and would like to share her own knowledge and understandings with others.

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