I don’t buy art for investment. I buy art because after all these years of looking, I have a good sense, in the areas of art in which I’m interested, about what’s different, perhaps distinct, and pushing certain boundaries. When I started buying art I took chances on large paintings from emerging artists and small works from well known artists. Like all collectors I have bought some pieces that have increased in value over the course of a decade and others that will end up in a thrift shop when I die.
Overall, I think it is fair to say that art is a risky investment. If you are buying the best works by those artist who already have blue-chip names – for example, Picasso, Matisse, Gerhard Richter, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, Andy Warhol and David Hockney – then they are highly likely to be good investments. Statistics support this. The problem is that people – both dealers and buyers – try to apply these stats to all every tier of the art market wanting the purchase of art to be a sure bet. The bottom line is to buy only what you love, after all, you have to live with it. Besides, you will want to explain to your curious house guests why you bought it with confidence and passion.
Ann Lydecker is the Founder of Metropolitan Art Advisors, LLC. and is based in New York. She leads art collectors on trips around the world and has worked in almost every aspect of the art world. She is also in the process of writing a how to book about art collecting.