Five tips for aspiring art collectors
Don’t be intimidated
The art world can be daunting, especially when you hear art specialists and industry experts using jargon like “edition,” print, “modern” and “contemporary”. Rest assured that at Strauss & Co there are no “stupid questions” and no snooty art consultants who make fun of your inquiries. We are passionate about art and part of the joy of our work is helping prospective buyers and art lovers and training them to expand their knowledge. Our art specialists are always ready to answer your questions, make recommendations, and show you works of art and collectibles that you will enjoy.
Often times, when consumers buy art for their home, they turn to retail stores and buy mass-produced decorative items to match their curtains and throw pillows because they feel that original art is prohibitively expensive. But we’ve sold works of art in our online-only auctions for less than you could spend in a chain store. When you buy a work of art at auction at Strauss & Co, you can trust that our art specialists have checked the provenance and authenticity of the work and that it will be offered at a realistic market price based on auction precedents.
Find out what you like
The secondary art market has the luxury of offering the works of hundreds of different artists in a single auction with a wide range of media, time periods and prices. Auction houses often put the artwork under the hammer before an important live sale. These exhibitions are a great place for those interested to familiarize themselves with what’s on offer, compare different artists, eras and styles, and find out what they like.
Whether you’re into contemporary sculpture, ceramic art, mid-century modern furniture, or abstract painting, a pre-sale exhibit lets you sample a wide range of artwork. You might like traditional landscapes, but as you are exposed to a wider variety of styles and artists you may also appreciate abstract compositions or develop a preference for the work of artists from one era or region over others.
It’s also a great idea to visit contemporary art galleries and talk to the curators and owners about emerging artists who are making waves in the industry.
Strauss & Co has a huge online database of all the artists and works of art they have submitted, as well as digital catalogs of previous promotions and information compiled by art specialists and industry giants. It’s a valuable, free resource to kickstart your art education, or just a nice way to spend a little time looking at the high-resolution images. Social media has also given artists and galleries an opportunity to bring art to new audiences, and most have their own websites or some other visible online presence. Social media allows you to follow your favorite artists while discovering new talent. Visit Strauss & Co’s website at www.straussart.co.za or follow them on Instagram at @strauss_and_co
Support young creative people
We believe in supporting up-and-coming young artists. Strauss & Co has ongoing relationships with The Bag Factory, a not-for-profit contemporary visual arts organization, and Artist Proof Studio, leading providers of fine art printing training, both of whom are committed to investing in the long-term development of young artists. Organizations like this have incredible, innovative new work at affordable prices, and when you buy art from them you’re supporting a young creative. Hopefully the piece will increase in value and could be sold for a profit in the secondary art market over time as opposed to mass produced retail items that suit consumer whims and changing fashions that rarely retain their value. Investing in the creative community keeps their wheels running and enables artists to keep creating and evolving.
Why do you buy art
Is it part of an investment portfolio and do you expect it to grow in value over time? Would you like to decorate your walls with something beautiful and decorative?
There is a belief that art collectors need deep pockets and the right connections, and it’s only worth investing in the big names, but that’s not the case. The art market is more accessible than ever to inexperienced collectors, and information on artists and works of art of all investment levels is readily available.
If you are collecting for investment and you expect your artwork to increase in value over time, it is always best to buy from a reputable auction house or gallery. That way, you can be sure that the work has gone through a due diligence process to evaluate and authenticate the work.
Works by blue-chip artists such as William Kentridge, Walter Battiss, and Robert Hodgkins sell for millions of rand at auctions, but their editioned works on paper appeal to collectors who are determined to invest in any of these auctioneers without applying, one foot in the door. for a second mortgage on their homes.
That being said, I really believe in buying what you love because you live with this work of art and have to look at it every day. So if you drive past a collection of canvases by the side of the road and one of the pieces speaks to you on a deep, visceral level and you fall head over heels in love with it – do it, buy the artwork, you are an artist supporting and to acquire something special.