Clients often ask me as they consider buying art if it is likely to go up in value. My answer is always the same. “Buy it because you love it not for any other reason.”
I am always surprised by this question. When you buy a car, a sofa or furniture of any kind for the house, you do not expect the value to go up after time. Rather, the odds are that it will decrease in value. You surely have bought your car, furniture etc because you like it and it suits your purpose and for no other reason.
Why does the thinking change when buying Art?
Understanding why when buying art the thinking changes is curious. It’s as if the re-sale value is the most important criteria when really it should come way down the list.
It’s always a bonus if a piece of art I have acquired goes up in value, but never the main reason for purchasing the piece in the first place.
The art market is fickle and an artist that acquires a following one year can be dropped like a stone the next. It is just as volatile as the stock market In some ways. You don’t experience daily fluctuations but it is just as difficult to predict those artists that will go up in value as it is what shares will rise.
The question is usually asked when the purchase is in the thousands. More understandable I suppose. But even so, buyers don’t bat an eye at purchasing a car at over £10,000. They know full well that as soon as it has left the garage, the value has dropped. Yet when it comes to art, for a few thousand pounds there is a reticence to part with money unless they believe it will be an investment.
When you buy a piece of art for a six-figure sum or above the purchaser would want some guarantees about authenticity. Probably resale value as well. Below this and certainly in works of art in the low thousands, this really shouldn’t be an issue.
Buy art because you love it not primarily as an investment.
There is not anything nicer, I don’t think, than having a piece of art, whether it is a painting or sculpture to admire the skill of the creator. With a painting, you can be transported into the scene and feel part of it. You will discover new things that you haven’t noticed before and a painting can look quite different in daylight or in the evening under artificial light.
So, in conclusion, a piece of art can give you a lifetime’s enjoyment. Don’t get hung up about the value!