Expert tips on how to invest in art

Investing in art can be a tricky business. Three experts from The Affordable Art Fair share their tips on getting started in the art world. You can see some of the work available at the AAF 2016 in the gallery below

“Exploring work from emerging artists at the very start of their careers can be an exciting way to find pieces for lower price points – buying work by artists who are just starting out not only means you’re potentially backing a future superstar, but also means you’re providing early-career artists with the financial support that will allow them to continue developing their practice in the future. But, ultimately, if you buy what you love you can’t go far wrong!” Will Ramsay, Founder, Affordable Art Fair.

“When you find a piece you are drawn to think about the next steps. Talk to the gallerist at the fair to find out more about the piece and the artist. There are a few key questions you can ask that will give you a good idea of whether the piece might be a good investment for the future:

  • Where the artist studied and how widely they have exhibited since graduating – an artist who is really committed to their own career will have the tenacity to keep going through the tough years.
  • Whether they have been picked up by significant collectors/collections
  • How well their work has sold or if they have won any prizes - a piece by an artist whose work is already in demand is far more likely to bring you a good return on your investment.” Luci Noel, Fair Director, Affordable Art Fair.

“Look at the artist’s collection of work. Does the piece you like represent their style? Look at the quality of the work and speak to the gallerist about how the work has been made. An artist will most often make a name for his/herself with a consistent body of work and their representation at the fair will be able to talk you through the intricacies of their practice. A piece which uses good quality or rare materials will also demand a higher price tag.” Luci Noel.

“An editioned work (preferably a low edition) by an established name might be an affordable route into an investment piece for the future. The work is likely to hold its value, if not rise somewhat. However, investing in an emerging artist is an amazing way of supporting those just breaking into the art world, and they might go on to become the next big thing!” Luci Noel.

“Buying works by up and coming talent can be a great opportunity to support emerging artists as well as investing in the art stars of the future. However the process can be a bit daunting, especially with so many artists graduating each year, and with hundreds of degree shows taking place across the country it can be hard to get your head around who really stands out. Working with a specialist who can do the heavy lifting for you, or visiting a specially curated exhibition showcasing the best work is a brilliant way to simplify the process and feel confident in your decision.” Medeia Cohan, Curator of the Recent Graduates’ Exhibition at the Affordable Art Fair.

“Don’t be tempted to buy something simply because you believe it might rise in value as a return on investment can never be guaranteed. It’s equally important to find something you’ll be happy living with for years to come.” Medeia Cohan.

The Affordable Art Fair is held in Battersea Park, 20-23 October 2016. Buy advance tickets at http://affordableartfair.com