Four simple steps to buying art as an investment

11 January 2018|investment |James Nicholls

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Buying art as an investment is not only a way of accruing valuable assets – it can also transform a house into a home and add elegance and style to an office. However, starting a collection can be intimidating, especially when considering how to select, frame and hang your new artworks.

In fact, according to research 20% of people see buying art as a more intimidating prospect than buying property! In order to counter this misnomer, Maddox Gallery aims to make art investment as accessible and enjoyable as possible for new art collectors.

Bearing this in mind, here are a few simple steps to help you make your first art purchase.

1. Choosing the right piece

In a recent article in The Telegraph, Patrick Perrin, founder of art and design fair PAD, stressed the importance of not rushing when it comes to buying art as an investment.

“It’s important to look, observe, take your time and get advice from others – but don’t follow trends; there is no point imitating other collectors.”

We couldn’t agree more. It has always been our belief that individuals should ‘invest with their eyes’ and collect art they are drawn to for its aesthetic qualities, rather than being led simply by its financial value or the artist’s reputation.

Different artists and styles of work will naturally appeal to different people. If you’re not yet sure what art you enjoy most, browsing an art gallery is a good way to experience new types of art.

When considering art as an investment, works are also enriched through an understanding of the artist’s beliefs, creative processes and overall vision. For this reason, it can be helpful to visit a gallery and speak with resident experts, who can tell you more about the pieces you are looking at.

2. Finding the perfect frame

The frame you choose for an artwork can also have a huge influence on its overall impact. In some cases, the frame itself plays a significant role within the overall piece.

Take Jason Dussault’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ as an example – the gold gilded frame complements the style of the mosaic so perfectly as to add to the overall look.

There are no hard and fast rules that apply to framing, however, and works can be paired with traditional or contemporary frames to suit your home’s interior design.

Whatever you decide on, a bespoke framing service provides the opportunity to choose the frame most suited to your purchase, and ensure that your art is properly protected and cared for. After all, there’s little point in buying art as an investment if you then risk it getting damaged while on display.

3. Placing the work in your home

The placement of an artwork can make all the difference to its overall impact in a room. The right positioning can ensure the best light, the right view and the ideal focal point.

“Seeing pieces from a new angle can be like seeing them again for the first time,” explained interior designer Niloufar Bakhtiar-Bakhtiari, a patron at the Royal Academy and member of the acquisitions committee at Tate Modern.

“Art should be hung lower than you think. Many people fall into the trap of hanging art too high, which creates an awkward focal point within the room.”

As your collection grows, you may also need to consider other artworks which will be on display nearby before adding new styles of work to your walls.

4. Planning ahead for future valuation

We firmly believe that art as an investment should be enjoyed – this is the beauty of this fixed asset class. Conventional forms of wealth management, such as stocks and shares, rarely provide individuals with any aesthetic enjoyment.

However, when the time comes that you wish to sell your collection or pass it onto your family, it will be important to have certificates of authentication.

It will also be beneficial to own works by recognised and valued artists, who have ideally grown in fame and demand over time, pushing up the value of their work. For this reason, it pays to speak with an expert art consultant when making a purchase, and learn about the artist and their predicted career path.

Buying art as an investment with Maddox Gallery

Here at Maddox Gallery, our Sotheby’s-trained art consultants can take care of every step of the process, even managing transport and storage of purchases if necessary. Our talented roster of emerging artists is carefully chosen on the basis of decades of industry experience, thorough research and anticipated future value. Pay a visit to one of our central London galleries to learn more.

Written by James Nicholls, Managing Director and Curator, Maddox Gallery.

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