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Choosing who to Invest In:
The 12 Points to Consider
to Spot Talent among Artists
Through decades' of specialist experience in sourcing promising contemporary artists at varied price points, our curators understand how to spot talent in the often daunting art market. Acting as an "Art Concierge" for collectors looking to invest in art, the process of balancing many considerations to evaluate an artist's investment potential is integral. Below, we offer an insight into what we look for in artists when developing an art investment portfolio.
Our Twelve Considerations
Acting as an "Art Concierge", our team identify and independently evaluate artists to meet a collector's personal and financial goals. We compare artists against a unique set of twelve considerations, which have consistently proven to be a reliable measure for their investment potential. This presents a perspective for objectively assessing the many aspects that inform the value of artworks over time, helping to build a nuanced art investment strategy with true longevity.
1) Undiscovered Talent
Promising under-the-radar artists offer the chance to acquire art that presents fresh and inspiring ideas at an excellent price, which suggests a favourable investment opportunity. Less widely-known artists are typically inclined to charge fairly for their work, rather than adding a premium purely based on name and reputation.
2) Emerging Career
Emerging-career art is often sold at entry-level prices, yet can increase significantly in value. Beyond possible profitable returns, however, emerging artists approach their work differently. They often radically innovate ideas and materials, and can offer a novel response to a brief. When looking for emerging artists, our advisors consider their projected career path based on past growth and potential.
While looking for inspiration externally is an important creative process, simply copying others’ ideas will trap artists into being overly derivative. Artists who demonstrate original thought use their materials in interesting ways, explore novel concepts and subtle themes. Understanding the art market allows advisors to spot originality, as the artists who stand out go beyond what hundreds of others are doing.
4) Quality of Ideas
Although an idea may be original, it also needs conceptual quality. When artists eloquently demonstrate richness, depth and subtlety, artworks are distinctly more sophisticated and thought-provoking. An interesting idea has nuances that can be explored in multiple artworks, developing into a lasting line of enquiry that continues to be exciting for viewers across the course of the artist’s career.
An innovative use of materials sets an artist apart. Often, unassuming, ordinary materials can be transformed into the extraordinary through the artist's vision, experimental intuition and technical skill. This demonstrates the artist’s pioneering attitude, and willingness to go against the grain of how others use or consider certain materials. Over time, such approached earn them recognition as originators of new ideas.
6) Skill and ability
A high level of technical ability is the product of extensive practice and natural talent. As a master of an unusual technique, the artist develops a visual language that isn't commonly found elsewhere. With deep understandings of mediums, advisors spot whether an artist's skill is particularly remarkable, cannot be replicated, and shows ingenuity.
7) Integrity & Commitment
Artists who dedicate their life to their practice have a greater integrity in their approach to their work. They are driven to pursue their art form regardless of whether it is commercially advantageous or not – creating work that does not follow current art trends, and are not opportunistic in their motivation. Through their ceaseless pursuit of ideas, they demonstrate a high level of commitment and integrity.
8) Training & Experience
Examining an artist's training and experience can often indicate the quality of their work. Being taught by prestigious academics or experienced practitioners leads artists to have a greater ability for analysis and developing ideas. Formal training through a fine art education is often highly effective in teaching these skills. However, an artist can also gain these skills from other sources, providing they are sincerely committed to learning from masters.
9) Longevity & Evolution
If an artist is following a current popular aesthetic, then their work will inevitably lack longevity – if an artist is known only for this type of work then this doesn’t show great promise for longterm investment. Instead, look for artists who show an evolution and a deeper line of enquiry – a sustained exploration of ideas, techniques, or styles, which show gradual development.
Artists who clearly possess a pioneering spirit and a willingness to experiment will often produce work that is more impressive. Their keen approach to pushing boundaries shows that they are not afraid of the unknown, and indicates a greater potential to create something unexpected. They are happy to create work that is not “on-trend” in their pursuit of exploring different ideas.
A consistent focus, be that in ideas or material, is often a sign of a sophisticated artistic practice. This could present as the pursuit of particular concepts, subjects or interests across the artist’s oeuvre. Alternatively, if the artist is primarily inspired by exploring their materials and techniques, then they must demonstrate a mastery of their medium. This level of focus leads to consistent development in their work.
While they have a clear focus, high-quality artists also go beyond making only one type of work repeatedly. The sign of an exceptionally creative individual is an ability to evolve and respond to shifting contexts. The work they produce across their career is guided by a particular focus, but shows development in both their chosen medium and as their ideas mature and expand.
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