Tuesday, June 21, 2016

How to Start an Art Collection

Many of my clients are first time buyers looking to start a collection. Often times they discover my work online then come in for a studio visit, which can be an overwhelming process without a concrete plan. Should they buy the piece that made their heart skip a beat or go with the piece that fits a specific space or color palette in their home? I thought this would be a good topic to explore from an artist's perspective.

Above: A collection of work in my studio. Collections can be built upon specific artists, styles, movements, subjects, colors, or techniques.

1. Do your research. Start by checking out local galleries, art fairs, and open studios. Write down your favorite artists and research their backgrounds. Where are they represented? What is their price point? If you're able, visit the galleries that represent them. Chances are you will find other artists you like there as well. Ask the artists if they are willing to do studio visits. I personally enjoy having clients over to check out my works-in-progress and current inventory. Don't forget online research especially on platforms such as Instagram. It is the perfect platform to quickly research artists and often you can be first in line to buy works directly off the easel. Be sure to search hashtags related to the type of work you are looking for. For example you could search by: #modernart #contemporaryart #dsart #studioscenes #artstudio #coastalart #floralart. A few of my favorite accounts that will give you a broad introduction to the huge community of artists on instagram are @artforbreakfast, @ratedmodernart, @freshpaintmag, and @painterspaintingpaintings.

Above:Edoardo Monti's collection of modern art in Brooklyn, New York, featuring work by myself (top right), Ryan Hewett, Jeff Rune, and The Unit London. This is a perfect example of how textures and colors can play throughout a collection.

Below:Two of my pieces (middle and middle bottom) in Monti's collection.

2. Do buy your favorite piece! Don't hold back when it comes to purchasing a piece you're in love with, especially if it's close to your price point. You don't ever want to look back and wish you would've bought that special piece instead of the one that matched your couch. Chances are if you love a piece now, you will always love it. Coordinating with interiors is important, but the artwork is paramount. Now think about why you love this piece so much? Was it the subject, technique, style, color, or concept? Use this piece as a starting point to build your collection around and if possible try to keep a similar underlying element throughout the collection. It doesn't even have to be an obvious similarity, it could simply be "women artists of the south" or "artists influenced by the abstract expressionists." A stronger collection will build upon a theme, not simply be a hodgepodge of random purchases.

Above and below: This collector chose two of my impressionistic foliage pieces for his stately home in Leesburg, VA. The framing plays nicely here with the formal interiors.

3. Set goals. What is the goal for your collection? Do you want to establish a noteworthy collection of artists from Virginia? Do you want to simply collect a variety of colorful miminalist pieces? Also try to plan around your budget. How often will you collect? What is your budget for each piece? Where will the pieces be positioned in your home? These are all important things to think about as you plan out your collection.

Above: A collection of my abstract paintings with the consistent theme of color and texture on exhibit at Covet. Inquire for availability.

4. Document Document! Always remember to document your collection. Keep a file of artist information, certificates of authenticity, signed paperwork, show catalogues, postcards, and any other information that could be valuable for the future generation or resale.

Of course, these are all suggestions, but hopefully I've provided you with something to think about while building and starting your collection. The collector has the ultimate power to decide the shape and direction of their collection. How exciting is that?!