The Art of Buying Fine Art - A few tips...

February 2, 2017
by Paige S | Arts & Culture

From local artist to world famous artists, I've worked with them all. The NUMBER ONE RULE IN BUYING ART IS BUY WHAT YOU LOVE! You do NOT buy art as an investement, and anyone that ever tells you that is wrong in doing so. I won't say the name of the artist, but a certain artist that used to be very popular all over the world, the "painter of light," was VERY in demand... Now, the art isn't worth what the cost of it was to purchase. There are certain things to look for, especially today with the internet and deals everywhere. The artist I just mentioned had a decrease in value due to overproducing reproductions, then re-opening closed out editions. When art says it's #77/250 - there should only be 250 reproductions of that piece EVER made / sold. The image or painting should NEVER be offered again, as it's SOLD OUT! When something like re-opening closed editions and mass editions happen, art doesn't hold any value. If it's endless it can always be acquired. So, here are some key rules to follow:

1. ALWAYS BUY THE ART YOU LOVE - First and foremost!!!! Art is supposed to make you feel a certain way, and if you have a connection with a piece, BUY IT! BUY IT IMMEDIATELY, you don't know how many times I have heard, "I knew I should've bought it when I was here 2 years ago." Because people leave, don't think about it, then the piece sells out and by the time they decide they are ready to buy it they can't because it's sold out. So the only next option is having the artist do a commission that was similar to the piece you originally liked, but that's going to cost you the price of an original vs a limited edition plus an additional 15%-30% commission fee. SO JUST BUY IT!

2. Art is NOT an investment. Yes, there are some artists that are appreciating in value and keep selling out show after show, so quickly in fact that they can't even paint fast enough to accept a commission if they were asked to do one. Michael "Romero," for example, keeps selling out at all of his Park West Auctions. To add to that, he is in numerous galleries all over the world and has to keep them stocked with original paintings as well. Romero does not offer limited editions, at all. My suggestion, BUY IT! An art consultant or gallery director/owner sould NEVER tell you that the piece of art you are buying is going to appreciate in value - we are not stock brokers - we are just selling you a piece of Fine Art for the current going price for the artist. We can let you know their history, for example - Romero's 24" x 36" original a year ago was $2,800 - now it's $6000. I can't promise you, and no one selling art can promise you that your piece WILL increase in value, we can only give you facts of events that have created the current value of the art. So, walk away if they start to tell you it's going to increase in value. I can tell you to stay away from any Salvador Dali print that was printed after the 70's - that's when his family gained his estate and started mass reproductions that are not even signed by him.

3. Let's talk limited editons - STAY AWAY from the LARGE edition sizes - if you are getting a piece that's 306/2000 - that's A LOT - 2000 is a lot of prints. Here I am going to put a spotlight on artist Pete Tillack, Australian, Internationally Renowned - I have also done a blog about him, but his edition sizes are no more than 35. That is a very small edition size, which makes the piece more valuable and the original more valuable as well. If you do happen to buy an original, ask, ask if the piece is "published" (means there are limited editions of it) or if it is not published then ask, "is it going to be a published piece?" My personal opinion on this is, if I were to personally buy an original I would WANT the piece to be published, because that means that many more people know about the painting and that the original is out there somewhere. Rule of thumb, the higher the number of reproductions should eqate to a lower price point - so a piece with only 35 reproductions is more valuable than a piece with 2000 reproductions. Oh, and an "open" edition means there is no limit on how many will ever be printed - it's endless, which means the piece should be significantly lower than a limited edition.

4. Make sure the gallery you are buying from is reputable. You have your cell phone in your hands - if you are in a gallery and one of the consultants tells you something about an artist - like "he's one of the hottest selling artists in the world currently," GOOGLE IT! If you find out they just made that up and you can't find any truth behind it, walk away. But, with that being said, MOST galleries with internationally renowned artists are very reputable or the artists wouldn't have their art hanging in that gallery. I can tell you that Chris DeRubeis is literally one of the hottest selling artists in the world right now, and if you click HERE you will see proof. FYI, we do have DeRubeis' art in Signature Art Gallery of Vero, and all of his pieces are originals ;) 

5. Give us a counter-offer... If we tell you a price that you don't feel you want to pay, throw an offer at us. That doesn't mean you will get to pay whatever you want, but a lot of the time a little phone call or text to the artist may unlock a promotion the artist is currently doing for another gallery that they will extend to you, but you have to ask for it. That holds true for most things you purchase. Signature Art Gallery of Vero works very well with our artists & they are all so excited to be in this new gallery that they are doing special promos for us all of the time! Bottom line, if you're interested ASK - you can't ever get what you want if you don't ask for it...



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