How (and why) to buy emerging artists

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As collecting contemporary art and live happily

Nicola Maggi


All those who love art, sooner or later, they dream of owning an original work of art. Between the dream and the act of purchase material, however, there are at least two obstacles to overcome, especially when it comes to contemporary art: the price and the alleged inability to understand the language of art today. With this post, I groped to dispel some "myths" and give some people who, perhaps practical advice to all wandering for Turin fairs, feel the desire to get inside to take home a work of art.

Let's start with the price. Dazzled by auction record reported by the newspapers and the magazines, we often have the perception of economically inaccessible contemporary art. Actually those records represent only 0.2% of the market, while a generous 80% of art transactions takes place under the 5000 euro (often below 3000). Contrary to what we would be tempted to think, moreover, the economic value does the artistic quality of a work!

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To bet on emerging artists is a great way

to buy quality works at reasonable prices.

This being clarified, when you decide to buy a work of art, a fundamental step is to determine how much you can afford to spend, so that we understand what we can buy. Often, in fact, the same price, on the market you can find various types of works: paintings, photographs or sculptures in a limited edition. And this, in the first place, if you point on emerging artists. Ie of those artists who, regardless of age, are beginning to get noticed: their name turns between the experts, talk about it, you start to write on magazines and, in the future, seem promising. And 'starting from them that many new collectors begin their careers and, this, for a very simple reason: to move towards emerging art allows you to purchase the works of quality at a reasonable price.

How to evaluate it? The thing is not simple, but surely there can be helpful to look at the artist's curriculum that interests you. Not so much because the curriculum can (or should) affect your judgment, but since the economic value (and I emphasize economic) of a work is heavily influenced by the artist's reputation, it is good to know who is the author who has front, which made exhibitions, which has won awards and, above all, who has written of him. Besides this you can help to know that the market segment in which "surf" emerging artists ranging from the point of view of prices, between 3000 and 15 thousand euro, although, especially in Italy, you can find excellent It works even at just over 1000 euro. Everything depends on the curriculum, as mentioned, but also by the dimensions of the artwork, the materials used, the time taken for the construction and so on. In short, a whole series of factors that you can also ask the dealer to explain to you, especially if it seems that the proposed price is exorbitant compared to the artist's career: with all due respect to the latter, moreover, an artist emerging must have a price to emerging!

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Queued alla'Affordable Art Fair in New York to conclude
the first purchase of art

However, if the work on which you put your eyes does not fall in your budget do not despair. Today, artists work on a variety of mediums, with very different price ranges between them, and that you can open up opportunities not initially valued. For example the purchase of a his graphic work or a drawing instead of a painting. The important thing is to ask: if the dealer knows how to do his job will respond.

The price, however, is just one of the barriers that usually block us in front of art purchase. Another, and perhaps most important, it is of a cultural nature: Most people are in trouble in front of contemporary art, almost uncomfortable, and the general opinion is an art difficult to understand. When, indeed, no one is denied the status of art. It is, however, a very superficial judgment. While it is certainly true that in some of its manifestations more "radical" contemporary art is not for everyone, it is also true that, apart from certain extreme today, the art world has opened the doors to the most varied forms of expression that say that it "has difficulty understanding contemporary art" is true to a certain extent. It is, if anything, to find the kind that is more in line with our taste. And the best way to do this is to turn, look, train the eye and do many, many questions. Just like you do when you want to buy a new phone or a new PC. Let's face it: those poor salespeople tartassiamo them with the most absurd questions ... Well, the same thing goes for the gallery owner or dealer who follows the artist that you will hit. In particular if this is an emerging artist, for which the information on him are more difficult to find.

Archives of American Art Arshile Gorky Fiorello La Guardia at the opening of the Federal Art Gallery 2127 448x300

The purchase of art must be cautious and aware, so ...
ask, ask, ask

I know, the art galleries, often, bring into subjection, but the gallery owners are well aware that their world is characterized by what, in the jargon, is called information asymmetry: that very often the information is totally possess them and artist, and only a small part of the potential buyer. And 'therefore in their interests to answer and give you all the information you can get the purchase. So, no fear, and ask them: "Who is this artist? I can say something about his work? "

For how many questions you can go to the gallery, however, the fundamental answers, the ones that lead you to buy or not, only you can give you this. The purchase of art, like that of any other good "important", must be done with the heart. We could say that the work to buy is one that makes you fall in love with her. A little 'as happens when trying home: maybe you have seen dozens of apartments, all similar, but only one will conquer, for a number of reasons, very often, it's hard to explain. Below are some simple questions to ask yourself to understand the reason for this sudden stroke of lightning:

    It makes me feel like this work?
Why do I like it so much? For the color, the shape, the subject?
Or is it just the desire to buy it that excites me?
It makes me look at the world from a different perspective?
I already have a place to put it?

There may seem like trivial questions (and indeed it is), but answering these simple questions will understand if the work in front of you is the "your work" or not. Duchamp onwards, moreover, each of us is an active part in completing a work of art: the artist gives you a hint, but his point of view, the rest is up to you. And if the topic of "conversation" you care ... why not continue it in private?

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Collectors Herbert and Dorothy Vogel in their apartment
from New York


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