• gerard van weyenbergh

To make art investments, follow these advices part 2

Also, an investor needs to be educated in the art business.

Some painters are “hot” in the market today and others that were “hot” and are entirely disregard today.

For example, the gentle little landscapes of the 19th century, in the after Corot style, were very hot in the US and neglected in Europe.

Also, 19th paintings showing a young girl with a couple of Saint Bernard dogs are very hot in the USA, but no longer on the old continent. Avoid to invest in this type of art, it is a bubble that will explode sooner or later.

I’ll advise buying art you like because you will have it hanging on your walls for a long time.

Liking an artwork and let your emotions guide your choice is in contradiction in the selection of investment.

Personal emotions should, at all times, left outside your decision.

You may like a painting and buy it, but always after homework completion.

If you don’t want to be disappointed, because the value of your painting is not going up, you need to study the painting as mentioned before or take advice from a trusted art expert.

It is too often that people come to me with art; they bought several years before and do find out that their investment is still in a negative balance because they overpaid the artwork. For example, I often see people on cruise ships celebrating their wedding anniversary and willing to have something to remember that day.

Their emotions guide them. They buy in these well organized and managed cruise events art sometimes at ten times the real value of the art.


You also can buy a share in mutual funds for art.

Usually, they will ask an initial investment of $ 250,000 and a commitment to keep your investment for five years, to build equity.

When you invest in fine art, it is not only the value you add to your assets, but you surround yourself with beauty, but not only it can also give the collector status of culture, increase his social exposure, etc

Fine art can give benefits besides financial investment:

- add beauty to your environment

- may increase the social status of a collector, show his convictions,

- maybe a solution for the distribution of assets between heirs. It is easy to transmit art, not like houses, etc.

- may show the personality of the collector, is cultural knowledge

- fine art doesn’t request important maintenance costs other than insurance.

If you want to avoid disappointments, a good art expert will help you:

To pay the right price for an artwork in a gallery, auction, or private estate

To make a research on the provenance and will avoid having ownership issues

To detect fakes, copies, pastiche art

To make a condition report of the artwork showing restorations, repairs, over-paint, etc.

To verify the C.O.A., and request an updated the C.O.A. if it is polder than six months.

Where to buy fine art?

1/ Auction houses, yes, even if it is difficult to find artwork at a good price since so many people scrutinize the auctions. Don’t forget that a premium has to be paid, which can sometimes add more than 30 % to the hammer price, shipping costs, etc.

Auction houses are a good place to buy upcoming artists. (much more interesting than in galleries)

2/ Antique and art fairs, yes, but the boots the dealers rent for the event are very expensive, and it reflects in their asked prices. It is so at the Biennale of Paris, for example, the dealers double the price of an item they would sell in their gallery. Art shows may be interesting to discover upcoming artists..

3/ Private collectors, definitely yes

4/ Galleries! In my opinion, avoid it! Even for upcoming artists, the sales prices will be distributed 60 % for the gallery 40 % for the artist, 50/50 is more usual. Most of the important artworks bought in auctions Sotheby’s and Christie’s are bought by galleries who will increase the value with a minimum of 25 %.

5/ Online. Be extremely careful, so many people writing so much “non reality”. “Artists” claiming that they sell fortunes fine art to rich clients are omnipresent on the web.

IN CONCLUSION: where ever you buy your art, always hire an art expert, he will make sure your investment is safe and sound,

An expert will verify the documents, provenance, owner's title, the proper COA made by the right expert, the condition report, make sure that the painting described in the COA is the painting you are going to buy.

An expert will advise you and explain why investment is safe; he will advise you also about the fair market value and the replacement value of the artwork you consider to acquire.

Sometimes buyers want to stay anonymous, especially in auction houses, an expert will be representing you at the bidding.