The idea of starting an art collection can seem daunting - reserved only for those with an in depth knowledge, or millions to spend on the most notable names. However, don't be deceived: it's possible to buy and enjoy art at any level. Here, we share 5 tips for those starting out, or building on an existing collection.
Take Time To Research and Explore
Before you decide how much you're willing to spend, take time to research and immerse yourself in the world of art. Visit galleries and museums, and don't be afraid to talk to people, network and ask questions. Read books and listen to podcasts: A Private View with Maeve Doyle is a bi-weekly dive into art with Maddox Gallery's very own Artistic Director Maeve Doyle, and features conversations with artists, curators, critics, art dealers, gallerists, and auction experts.
By taking time to explore, you'll learn what you like - and what you don't. Developing this instinct is immensely valuable, ensuring your collecting activity is swayed by more than just fleeting market trends.
Think About Why You're Buying Art
Why do you want to buy art? Figuring out the answer could have a big impact on the type of collection you build. Many collectors choose to buy only works that they love, and which bring them joy. If you're going to buy art to live with, this can be a wise strategy. In this instance, Jay Rutland, our Creative Director, advises collectors to "understand - and be excited by - the story behind an artwork or the artist themselves".
Lots of collectors choose to start an art collection as an investment, selecting pieces by artists with a track record for market growth. Choose wisely, and an artwork can sit on your wall accruing value - as well as providing you with joy each day. For some collectors, the artworks they buy can be an outward representation of their values and what they care about. If you're passionate about a cause, why not explore the work of an artist who shares your interest? Love fashion? Why not buy an artist such as Terry O'Neill whose work celebrates the industry?
Collecting art can be a responsibility. Before you build your collection, think about the type of role you want to play as a collector. You might, for example, choose to support emerging artists in their initial years. This can be critical to their survival, as well as giving you access to their early works: remember, Banksy was considered an emerging artist less than 20 years ago, but is now an international star. High-quality works obtained at the start of an artist's career can grow in value over time.
Make Sure Your Art Fits Your Life
There is little point buying a monumental painting if you live in a small apartment. Similarly, a petite print might look lost in a room with high-ceilings and plenty of space. Before investing in art, think about where you intend to hang it. You should also reflect on the artworks and furnishings the art will be displayed alongside: will they work together? Are you creating something cohesive? If not, are you happy to create a collection that includes an eclectic array of works?
Love The Piece Not The Price
While it's important to establish a budget, you shouldn't feel restricted by price - or feel that the only works of value come with a seven-figure price tag. A budget of around £1,000 can be enough to purchase a small, original painting by an emerging artist, and might stretch further if you're buying a work created in multiple editions. Love an artist whose works sell for millions? If you can't afford them now, take the time to look at emerging artists who work in a similar style. Obsessed with the patterned canvases of Keith Haring and Damien Hirst? Why not explore the signature squiggles of rising star Lefty Out There?