What Art Should I Buy? | Find out what kind of collector you are
What’s the secret to a well balanced collection - passion or practicality? When deciding what art to buy, collectors can find themselves confronting this dichotomy head in hands. In truth however, these forces aren’t oppositional. Like all parts of life, collecting art is about finding the sweet spot between passion and reason.
Time to self reflect and take in the view. You're looking out at Brett Whiteley's Lavender Bay.
First things first…
Buy what you love. The process of finding, curating and caring for you collection will be insurmountably more pleasurable if you focus on art that activates your heart and mind.
To compliment this, we also advise - collect with the end in mind. By this we mean collect purposefully. Collecting in a future-focused way is to consider how your collection is capable of development, sharing and also oneday - for ownership to be passed on. In other words, what is the potential for this work of art to one day be gifted or sold? How collectable is the work of art in the context of the open market? In the case of Contemporary art - how are you going to support the artist you are collecting and share your collection so that the collectibility of that artist can also grow?
Established art, which is typically ‘older’ art is usually collectible without doubt. Backed by a history of institutional and cultural reaffirmation, art made by greats like Brett Whiteley and Charles Blackman are able to be exchanged with ease. To be clear however, we don’t recommend buying merely to resell. Instead, to value resale is to value renewal. As the engine behind regeneration, change and focus, parting with your art is a natural and healthy part of collecting.
Capturing the old - Charles Blackman, 'Night and Day I'.
To buy new art, is to thrust yourself into the art of our times. Here, custodianship is central. By supporting emerging or mid-career contemporary art, you are in engaged in ascribing value to these objects. As human rights lawyer and exclusive collector of new art Julian Burnside puts it, buying new isn’t about being a patron - it’s about being a champion of the arts.
Fighting the good fight - support contemporary artists like Philippe Le Miere.
The ‘Learned and the Learning’
One experienced art advisor described the range of collectors as ‘the learned and the learning’. The former kind, are custodians of historically significant art that fires the mind. In other words, they are ‘learned’ collectors. Conversely, the latter relish the contemporary art world, discovering new artists and art as it unfurls. You can of course, take be little of both and like Jacqui Stockdale, marry the future and history of art.
New vs. Old - what works for me?
To find their feet, many collectors start by collecting actively traded art. Once they’ve nutted the practice out however, they may deepen their interest in the old, move onto to the contemporary, or as David Walsh did, fill a Museum of Old and New Art.
When it comes to collecting art, figuring out what fits for you is a process. In the meantime, bear our advice in mind - lead with love, but bear collectibility in mind. That way, your collection will continuing bearing flavour no matter what direction you settle upon.