A Word from a Collector

Category: GENERAL

Peter Constant was born in Cyprus in 1947. He trained as a teacher in Cyprus and continued his studies in the USA, first in 1972 obtaining a BA in English and then in 1982 obtaining a Masters in Linguistics. He married in 1979 and has two grown up sons.

He settled in London in 1983 after his studies in the USA.  He soon became involved in antiques and art even though he had no previous experience in these areas.  Art became his sole focus from early 1984, while he also continued to work as a teacher. Starting with an initial investment of ten pounds he began trading minor art from auction to auction in England.  He had his first significant success at Sotheby’s London in early 1984 with the purchase of a £75 watercolour that sold soon after for $2,500 in the USA.  By 1986, he found himself selling important contemporary art in the evening sales of Sotheby’s New York to the value of $30,000.

Peter Constant followed the major markets closely and monitored the progress of improving/emerging markets such as the Russian and Greek markets. He had major successes with Greek and Russian art that made it possible for him not only to invest in artists from other nationalities but also to start collecting for himself on a small scale as early as 1988.

Learning the art business the hard way proved didactic but also very expensive.  Borrowing money to invest in art proved wise when the British and world economy were doing well, but overextending himself and over-investing in art became a major problem for the Rags to Riches entrepreneur in the early 1990s. By 1990 he had a valuable collection of art. The deep recession of the 1990s, the events in the Gulf and a couple of investment mistakes proved testing. Regrouping, changing direction and tactics, while continuing to work as a full time teacher, turned his fortunes around and he ended up making some of his best investments during those years. By 1997 investments with returns of 500-1000% were regular and in 2000 he sold a painting for £60,000 ($100,000) at Sotheby’s, London.

Between 2000 and 2008 investments in artists from Greece and the USA returned substantial profits, as Peter Constant became a master investor in art and in artists with potential. While Greek art was showing great returns, he increased his investments in that market to build up a large collection of Greek Contemporary art.  At the same time he diversified in other art markets to balance his portfolio of investments. In spite of a fall in the prices of Greek art, Peter Constant continues to invest in that market, as he believes the returns will be major within the next five years.

Opportunities and bargains at auction is the expertise of Peter Constant. Even today, he is able to target the bargain and invest in artists with a bright future at very low prices.  Peter Constant maintains that art is a massive business with a potential turnover of one hundred billion dollars within the next five years.

In 2013 Peter Constant published the book Rags or Riches which can be purchased at all major ebook sellers and here on greeksinart.