Rule #1: Buy only unique and original pieces. Don’t buy prints or lithographs as you canâ€™t guarantee they havenâ€™t or wonâ€™t mass produce them.
Rule #2: Before you buy, learn what you can about the artist. When he worked, where he worked, with whom he worked, if his work hangs in museums or if major brokerages trade them, what his pieces typically go for etc.
Rule #3: Look at as many images of the artist’s work as you can to become familiar with his style. If the artist is known, this can be done quickly on the Internet.
Rule #4: Always negotiate the price. Something is only ever worth what someone else is prepared to pay.
Rule #5: Get as many details and as much proof as you can regarding the authenticity of the work. This is called its provenance and you should scrutinise it as much as possible.
The best way to start investing in art on a budget
If you only have R10,000 to R20,000 to start investing in art Mark Ford believes you should buy pencil sketches of known and collected artists, not Picassos but artists such as Jean Derain or Raoul Dufy, whose works are in every major museum in the world.
Or you can buy oil paintings, watercolours, and gauches of young, up-and-coming artists.
Or you can buy both.
The pencil drawings tend to appreciate in financial value along with the artists’ other works. Buying up-and-comers is much more tricky from an investment point of view, but itâ€™s a very good and enjoyable way to document the history of your developing aesthetic tastes.
And as your collection grows over the years you can buy and sell your pieces of art to buy more expensive pieces that sell for hundreds of thousands to millions per piece.