5 Tips for Beginning Art Collectors

By Lara A. Björk, Founder of Von Rudebeck Art Advisory, New York

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Ask questions…

Don’t be shy when buying art. If you want to know more about the artist, artistic process, technique, media, and subject matter, ask! Knowledge is power, and knowing more about the work will connect the dots and create a more engaging, intimate relationship with the work.

Buy originals…

Works on paper can be an affordable way to buy one-of-a-kind artworks. They also often come from a more intimate side of an artist’s studio practice and can be quite revealing to their style and process. I encourage buying unique works regardless of medium. 

Try to see art in person…

If possible, see work in person at least once before buying. If that’s not an option, then request detail photos and installation shots to get as good of an idea of the work as possible. The emotional reaction to the work may be different, and the colors may differ slightly from a jpeg or a website. Also, the more art one sees, the more the eye becomes trained and a well-rounded opinion is developed. 

Use an art advisor…

Just as you use a real-estate agent or a financial advisor, an art advisor can be extremely helpful in the collecting process. They can educate, give a sound opinion, and provide all the information needed to point a collector in the right direction, and they should also allow you to make you own decision. They will also have trusted resources and help protect collectors and their collections along the way. 

Buy what you love…

Above all, buying what you love is the most important factor. If you love a work, if it makes you feel good when you see it, and if it doesn’t break the bank, go for it!

 

Lara A. Björk is a private art advisor and the founder of Von Rudebeck Art Advisory in New York City.

For the past decade, she has worked closely with leading contemporary art galleries, auction houses, private dealers, and institutions to establish relationships with a broadly spanning network of artists, collectors, art insurers, shippers, appraisers, framers, conservators, experts, foundations, and scholars. She works with an international client base to provide expertise and guidance to those new to collecting and those who have been collecting for generations, placing works from Emerging to Contemporary to Post-War Art, and working with a wide range of budgets and aesthetics.

In June, Björk will be curating a group show at Meyer Vogl Gallery including works of some of her favorite international emerging contemporary artists.