Although nowadays galleries and auctioneers provide specific art valuations, the market eludes logic all the time. This is good news for art lovers who aren’t wealthy. Instead of chasing the rich and famous, you could be successful by following your emotions:
- First, visit young art auctions and exhibitions as well as flea markets regularly. This way, you’ll start training your eye.
- Second, do some research. If you find something interesting, learn more about the artist. Read about them or talk to them.
- Third, trust your gut. If a certain piece awakens intense reactions, then this probably means something. Good art is all about emotions.
So, what do you need to know when choosing a painting? There are a few rules to follow.
- Remember that some pieces are cheap for a reason.
Sometimes, it’s due to the poor quality (if you buy mass-market items, you’ve probably already accepted that). Other times, these items are fake. (Let’s emphasize this: there is no such thing as a cheap Monet or Picasso—no matter how lucky you are.)
Nevertheless, many young artists sell their paintings at low prices because they’re just at the beginning of their careers, and they can’t compete with artists who’ve been on the market for some time. These paintings may be beautiful, inventive and unique—but they currently don’t have any history, and it’s hard to say how much they’ll be worth in the future.
- Paintings by young artists are considered a risky investment.
If you haven’t thought of art as an investment yet, you should. Unique and inventive paintings could gain value over time, and you could capitalize on that. If a young artist gets noticed by a talented art dealer and starts to put their work on display in galleries, the demand for these items could grow significantly, which would consequently raise their prices.
However, spectacular careers are rare (and not just in the art world). Most artists won’t get the opportunity to have an outstanding exhibition, and they’ll be stuck in a world of cheap art and living from hand to mouth.
- Young art is diverse, so buy something you like.
If you take the time to know this market, you can find works of art that truly resonate with you. Landscapes, portraits, abstract art, minimalism, flamboyancy, dark or bright colors—you name it.
The most important rule is to find a piece of art that you would enjoy on a daily basis. Don’t feel compelled to buy something you don’t like just because the style or the particular artist is popular at the moment. Trends change, and even if your piece turns out to be a poor investment, at least you’d be stuck with something you like.
- There’s always room for negotiation.
The living have one huge advantage over the dead: you can have a productive conversation with them. Young artists are mostly available to potential buyers of their works. Unless they’ve already signed an exclusive contract with an art dealer, you can buy paintings directly from them (avoiding the gallery fees) and even order a custom-made piece.