Best with good sneakers
Often the first own apartment triggers the impulse to want to invest in art. Starting your own art collection begins with many miles of walking: museums, galleries, art fairs, biennials, art projects, art schools, artists’ studios, and visits to established collectors.
With every kilometer you expand your knowledge of art and have a lot of fun to boot. Few topics are so much fun to learn.
“Great art expands taste, it does not follow it”.
This quote from Steve Jobs aptly describes the difference between art and decoration. The latter may be selected with great taste and integrates into excellent in the room.
Art gives the viewer pause. Good art inspires. It is often not self-explanatory, requiring a second and third look. Art disturbs and sometimes reaches the pain threshold of the viewer. Good art is able to trigger feelings – positive and negative. In this way, it creates energy in the room.
After years, one sometimes sees a work of art with different eyes and feelings; however, it does not lose its charm. If there is no more space, the artwork can be lent to good friends or given away. Extensive art collections are kept in special storage rooms for art, as most collectors are reluctant to part with their works of art.
Death, Divorce or Debt
The three most common reasons collectors sell their artwork can be categorized by the so-called big three D’s: Death, Divorce or Debt.
The prospective art collector faces the following questions:
HOW DO I RECOGNIZE THE ARTISTIC VALUE OF A WORK?
WHAT PRICE IS JUSTIFIED FOR THIS?
WHAT STRATEGY SHOULD I PURSUE?
And that usually leaves him or her alone, because art advisors are usually not interested in small beginners’ budgets, and even a good friend who collects art himself or herself doesn’t really help. Art, because of its power to evoke emotions, is highly individual.
Works that one art collector likes to place prominently in the dining room completely spoil the appetite of the art lover friend. It depends on finding your own individual art direction. The following 6 tips will help.
1. FIRST GAIN EXPERIENCE
Classifying art is difficult for a layman at the beginning. There is no way around looking around first. Opportunities abound: art fairs such as Art Basel, Frieze, TEFAF and many more are open to non-specialist visitors on some days.
These important art fairs offer an excellent overview of the respective art trends. There, renowned and promising young galleries from many countries or continents are present in one place.
The atmosphere at most trade shows is inspiring in many ways. An interesting international crowd and hip restaurant stalls and bars lure you in at every turn. But first the work, then the pleasure.
How to make a successful visit to the trade fair
Obtain the trade show schedule and exhibitor directory. The temptation is great to crisscross the halls. However, it is worthwhile to first systematically walk through the fair with the plan and note the interesting exhibitors.
In the second pass, you can focus on those that are worth a longer visit and conversation. You will notice that your priorities in the plan are constantly changing. What looked attractive in the first half hour is often cancelled after viewing more exhibition stands.
The fair is a commercial place. The goal is to sell art. Don’t be afraid to ask about the prices of the artworks. Even if the work of art is already sold, which is often, but not always recognizable by the red dot next to the work of art, it is worth asking for the price in order to better assess the work and the artist.
At the end of the fair you will have a first classification of galleries that are interesting for you. The majority sends out a newsletter announcing new exhibitions. Sign up there and start visiting these galleries regularly.
After a while you will focus on a smaller number of galleries. This may take a while. On the other hand, a good relationship with a gallery owner lasts many years, sometimes even a lifetime.
Events such as GalleryWeekend or the start of the gallery season in many cities are additionally suitable for discovering new galleries.
2. DÉJÀ VU
Europe has an incredible wealth of art museums. Most of them follow an art historical understanding and want to show with their collections or exhibitions a well-founded insight into certain art genres or art developments.
The attentive visitor will discover there that some of the things he found original and new at a previous fair had already been shown by an artist many years ago.
This discovery is gratifying in two ways: one’s knowledge of art has clearly already expanded, and one is glad that one did not buy the remake at the fair. Many friendship groups or support associations of museums offer interesting trips, which sometimes include visits to artists’ studios.
3. PLAN YOUR VACATION IN VENICE OR LONDON
One of the best ways to expand your knowledge of art is to visit the Venice Art Biennale. The largest exhibition venues, Giardini and Academia, offer a great pleasure for the senses simply because of their location and historical significance.
In many other places in the lagoon city there are other exciting exhibitions to discover in churches, private houses, palaces and squares; plus the charm of Venice. The perfect combination, especially since it is very relaxing to stroll through the showrooms while on vacation.
The same applies to London. Even in the age of the Internet, Frieze, the annual art fair held in October, attracts the major players in art to the city in person. During this period, all major museums and galleries try to show their highlights. A high concentration of outstanding art in the exciting metropolis of London. More is not possible.
4. EMPTY WALLS
Only with this experience should you start buying art. You will then look back on wonderful experiences and be glad that most of your walls are still empty. As with many other purchases, time is your friend. Check whether spontaneous enthusiasm for a job is still present after hours or days. You will notice that at times this is not the case.
The more you have seen, the more your individual taste in art will develop and the works you then purchase will give you pleasure for many years to come. You will rehang them from time to time and also discover them again and again. Good art does not age.
5. THE NEXT GENERATION OF ARTISTS
Many art colleges or academies organize exhibitions of their graduates, where you can also buy some of the work. Discovering the next Neo Rauch or Thomas Demand at the very beginning of his development is difficult. But often this exhibition offers work at very affordable prices and at the same time you are supporting a hopeful graduate who will have a hard enough time establishing himself in the art market.
6. YOU MUST EXPECT THIS
When you proudly hold your first works in your hands (of course, only in the light white cotton gloves provided for this purpose) you should keep in mind that you have to expect further costs. Most works gain attractiveness with a well-chosen frame.
Forget IKEA or the hardware store. This is where a professional frame maker comes in, who can advise you and suggest exciting alternatives to help the artwork make its best appearance.
You should also consider the insurance for your artwork and in any case tell your cleaning lady. Well-intentioned and unsuspecting, many works have already been destroyed. The briefing here should be short and clear: Hands off!