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How to become an art collector

The best collector is someone who knows how to balance aesthetics and commerce.
Often works from different epochs, types, and genres – vintage and modern abstract art, impressionist or surrealism art, sculpture, or graphics – are sold at auctions for a lot of money. Famous collectors such as Roman Abramovich or François Pinault can afford them. And you may be thinking: I could never be a collector, it’s too expensive and complicated. But today there are new opportunities to buy art. Let’s find out how to become a collector.

Collect what you like

The first step is to find out what kind of art you want to collect: paintings, drawings, sculpture or photography, oil or watercolor, portrait, landscape, or still life? If you like fantasy and mystique, have a look at modern surrealism and learn more about contemporary surreal artists and their work. If your main interests are shapes and colors, check out contemporary abstract art. If you prefer eternal values, get into realism oil painting. Many famous collectors started out because they were fascinated by a painting, an art movement, or the work of an artist. A collection should delight the owner, whatever the price.

When starting a collection with a financial perspective, you need to learn about market realities: read analytics, talk to art dealers, find out the price level of artworks. 

A great way to understand how much art is worth is to visit online and offline auctions, feel the excitement, and try to buy something. If large abstract canvas oil paintings will sell for too much, there will always be a small surrealist portrait or realism landscape painting that will fetch a reasonable price. Explore different ways to buy directly from artists (which can be cheaper) or from dealers. And, of course, make sure that you get the paperwork right, so that nobody will doubt the authenticity of your collection in the future. If you want to involve a professional in these and other matters, ask an art advisor who knows the secrets of the art market.

Attend exhibitions and fairs

A collector who doesn’t know what’s going on in the art world is nonsense. Visit exhibitions, meet artists, gallerists, and curators. Often an exhibition in a small gallery on the other side of town that you were too lazy to go to gives you an incredible experience. For example, you’ve never liked abstract art, but you see such beautiful work that you immediately decide to buy abstract art. At the exhibition, you can see the work in person, assess its size, imagine the view in the interior and even smell it (oil smells so good)! You can also choose and purchase surrealism, impressionism, realism, or any other style of artwork. And of course, an important event for the art lover is the international fairs, where you can see works from all over the world and get acquainted with the major trends. Exhibitions and fairs broaden one’s horizons, which is very important for understanding contemporary art.

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