Friday, July 17, 2009

Eccentric is always good in art

This week, the ABC has presented a great documentary about Ian Fairweather, one of the most important Australian artist. For any person who contemplates building an art collection, this documentary is a must see and take notice. There are a few lessons in there, but for the art collector there is the most important lesson ever to remember - look for passion, people ignored by the mainstream (just note how many artist friends the man had, yet he painted on newspapers, as he ran out of materials!) and collect religiously. If the artist is young, the payback may come too late for you to enjoy, so look carefully.
Like with every investment, value gets created by going against the trend.
“It's hard to think of a more difficult subject for a film. Ziegler quickly discovered that many of Fairweather's contemporaries had died, some were unwilling to contribute to the film, and other sources were simply inaccessible, beyond her budget. And too many art world heavies talked in impenetrable jargon.”
Graeme Blundell - The sage of Bribie Island,25197,25747095-5015662,00.html

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Recession - a great time to buy

If you wander around the established galleries today, you'll notice that most of them present their stockrooms. This is how they have survived during recessions and this time it's no different.
What that means for collectors:
1. You can buy great work at never to be seen again prices. You can haggle. Galleries will be happy to negotiate to get a sale. Their bills have to be paid.
2. Very few new artists are being given the opportunity to present their work. Most artists are desperate. And cheap. Here's your chance!
3. Emerging artists are very, very cheap. Their work will go up in price, simply because now it's so down. Look them up.
Whatever you do, BEWARE!
1. There is a reason why works in stockrooms hasn't sold. Do your homework, or better, stay away.
2. Established artists struggling are compromising on size, quality, subject matter. Do your homework, or better, stay away.
Emerging artists simply continue doing what they do, having little alternative. The quality, size and subject matter stays the same, as they don't have any reason to change. The price of their work hits rock bottom, so you can buy in bulk and watch your investment grow in good times.
Be smart - I know you are.