Artzila Tips Part 2: Buying Original Art
At Artzila we are dedicated to selling our buyers limited edition prints of great original art by Canadian artists. However, we also want to support these artists and want to encourage our buyers to buy original works of art from them. We also want to empower our buyers so they find the process of buying art less daunting. To this end here are a few tips to make your art buying experience a pleasant one.
1) Always do your research. Even if you are purchasing something because you love it and have no interest in art as investment, you should always establish the value of the work you’re hoping to purchase so you don’t overpay. Ask what has similar pieces by the same artist sold for, as an example?
2) Learn about the artist – learn about the artist’s ‘best period’. Not all art created by an artist is equally great art. Try to buy pieces from an artist’s best/most collectable years.
3) Make sure you know the history and authenticity of the pieces you intend to buy. Research the provenance of the piece. Good provenance increases the value of a work of art.
This can include the following:
-a signed certificate of authenticity from an expert
-signed statement from the artist
-original sales receipt
-film or recording of the artist talking about the work
-appraisal from a reputable expert
-media or illustrations of the work through history
4) Document as much as possible – save the receipts and certificates of authenticity, if purchasing from an auction house keep the exhibition catalogue, if the artist is present at the sale have him sign the catalogue or invitation, have a photograph taken with the artist if present with you and the work you are purchasing.
5) Always comparison shop. Make sure you are getting the best value for your money whenever possible.
6) Use multiple galleries.
7) Always try to buy your art from non-target galleries and avoid predatory ones. Sales people in predatory galleries usually work on a commission and are not interested in the art, only in selling. It is usually easy to distinguish the two, as employees in non-target galleries will leave you alone to browse and will let you engage them.
8) Never buy art simply by looking at it on the wall. Make the gallery or auction house take it down. Look at the back for provenance label and look for damage or if it has been restored. Get a condition report if possible.
9) Most importantly, develop an eye for art. This can only be done by looking as much as you can. Immerse yourself in art galleries, museums and look at the art that is valued there.