by Frederique Xanthopoulos
Savvy investors are inclined to buy works by well-established artists; in doing so, they will focus on safety while aiming to achieve added value in the short/medium term. The question is: how safe is safe? Simply refer to the recent backlash against Gauguin. His talent, his experimental use of color, his style, is undermined as soon as we start considering the artist through the prism of our values which are removed from those of past times. How will investors having collected Gaugin paintings react?
Current trends pave the way for “street art” and digital art, in a way making art more accessible but not necessarily affordable; this is a world away from the movements of the last century and the practices taught in the master’s workshops. The question that needs to be asked here is whether we have enough hindsight to judge the rise of one or another artist and whether this is a transitory movement.
What do I qualify as a “coup de cœur”? It is when a painting, a sketch, a sculpture, a graffiti, moves us. We may appreciate it the very first time we see it or it grows upon us. We are taken by the composition, the palette, the aesthetics. In other words, it is a magical encounter between a particular work of art, i.e., the artist and its public. While the process of creating is an intrinsic part of the artist’s skills, technique, and knowledge, sharing it makes the artist feel appreciated.
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To all art lovers, I encourage you to visit museums and galleries, to follow your instinct, to let yourself be guided by professionals when it comes to collecting a work of art. An important role that the average consumer can play in the art market is as a collector. When you buy works by living artists that are affordable, the acquired work becomes an investment in the sense that it is part of your life. In turn, you are investing in those artist’s careers and who knows, the artist may well become an established artist one day.
Frederique Xanthopoulos – M.A., Art History, Montreal University, 1995