ART & CONVERSATION
Art is a good investment. Leaving aside the possibility that an artist might become an international superstar in the art world, magnifying the value of a piece you’ve purchased, art is a good investment for the spirit. Before art was made to go into museums, it was part of daily life. This becomes obvious in a tour of any modern museum of ancient history. The oldest pieces are associated with religion or politics; conveying a message of their time. Ancient jewellery is a form of art, as is quilting, wood-carving, and glassblowing. All these practices, considered crafts in their time, have become art to us now.
People have always been attracted to beautiful things. It’s unnatural for us not to have art around us, despite that art continues change throughout the eras. Many people like to portray art as superfluous or unnecessary. In the same way, most of society’s common medical knowledge downplays mental health. Society ignores the emotional effects that one’s surroundings have on one’s life. A person can have an undecorated house that is nonetheless perfectly functional, but a house enhanced with art becomes a home. If we see a piece of art that resonates, we can own it and have a life richly decorated with art.
What most people do not realize is that art plays a big role in our economy. According to CBS, “Art sales in 2014 surpassed 60 billion dollars, seventy-five percent of collectors and buyers are purchasing art for collecting purposes, but with an investment view.” Art auctions are a bigger part of society than ever before, and it’s not just because people want to decorate their houses. Collectors understand that each piece is an actual investment that could pay enormous dividends, depending on the art market, which is exciting, dynamic, and constantly evolving. As with all investments, increased sales signals higher demand, and this raises the price of a piece of art. In addition, the art market always bounces back, no matter how bad the economy gets. It is entirely possible to get in on the ground floor with many types of art. Each one presents an opportunity.
There is more than one answer to why investing in art can be a good idea. Simply because art brings so much more to society than just a pretty picture.
Art has an economical value that we often can’t put into numbers, but an art gallery professional is a value expert. A gallerist will look into the background of the artist first as a way to weigh their art’s value. Their exhibition history and artist background plays a huge role when determining value. How many places and where the artist has exhibited correlates with the value a artwork currently has and the potential it will have in the future. For example, Anne Plaisance, a French artist currently residing in Massachusetts will have greater value artworks due to her history and involvement in the art world. Anne’s resume shows that she has exhibited all over the world for many years which adds significant value to her works. Like fine wine, art will only become more valuable with age.
Another factor that goes into the increased value of an artwork includes “The museum seal of approval.” An artwork’s starting value could be $3,000 but after it has been exhibited in a museum, the value can go up thousands of dollars, instantaneously. This not only goes for museums but world renowned galleries like Hauser and Wirth. Hauser and Wirth recently sold one of Mark Bradford’s pieces, “I Heard You Got Arrested Today,” from his current exhibition called New Works to The Broad Museum in Los Angeles. Although Bradford is a well-known Los Angeles artist, his new piece from 2018 almost immediately gained value after being purchased by the museum.
With any investment, one must do research. With a little work, one can fill their home with beautiful works of art that can be valuable assets later down the line. It is almost impossible to predict which artist or what artwork will succeed in terms of adding value. Patience and investing in emerging artists will count for successful investment.
But financial dividends are not the only purpose of purveying artwork. One should always think of the overall worth, not just in terms of profit, but in terms of value.
Art has a funny way of connecting people. Modern and contemporary art is very specific in terms of having the viewer connect with the artist. One is not only connecting with past generations, but also making a connection between the artist’s family and their own. It’s a new way to look at what community means and the important social factors at play. It’s hard to articulate the feeling one has when owning a “one-of-a-kind.” Art might seem permanent for some, but in reality it isn’t. Each day, each mindset, and each viewpoint, brings a new light onto what the work might mean. Financial factors aside, art is an investment for the soul. A work of art will always be part of history as a whole. When one buys a particular artwork, it becomes part of their personal journey through generations.