THE UNKNOWN ARTISTS BRING IN THE CASH
MY INVESTMENT POLICY HAS ALWAYS BEEN TO BUY WHAT I LIKE FIRST AND THEN THINK ABOUT THE FINANCIAL GAINS. NEARLY ALL THE GREEK ARTISTS INVESTED IN WERE OF THAT POLICY. ZENETZIS, KALOGEROPOULOS, PAPADOPOULOS, PAPANELOPOULOS, ANDREADIS. NONE OF THEM WAS A BAD INVESTMENT IN SPITE OF THE GREEK ECONOMIC SITUATION BECAUSE ART IS AN INVESTMENT FOR THE LONG HAUL AND AT LEAST TWENTY YEARS PLUS.
READING IN MY BOOK RAGS OR RICHES , WHAT INVESTMENTS I MADE IN UNKNOWN ARTISTS AND THEN WHAT THEY PROVED TO BE LATER, NOBODY CAN DENY HIMSELF/HERSELF THE THRILL OF BUYING SOMETHING VERY CHEAP AND REWARDING ONESELF WITH A VERY LOFTY PROFIT WITHIN A SHORT TIME, PLUS THE THRILL OF OWNING A GOOD PIECE OF ART FOR SOME TIME.
CONCLUDING MY ADVICE TO ALL MY READERS IS ONE AND ONLY ONE:
INVEST IN WHAT YOU LIKE, EVEN IF IT IS AN UNKNOWN ARTIST!!
AN UNKNOWN ARTIST WHEN I INVESTED £ 600.00 IN FOUR BIG
CANVASES OF HIS.
WHO IS HE? 100 X 150 CM PAINTED CIRCA 1950
My story began for real when I purchased a small watercolour by an artist, Sydney Lawrence, unknown to experts and dealers at Sotheby’s. It was an investment made on aesthetic grounds that paid an art enthusiast handsomely and started my art venture. The diary has recounted many similar cases elsewhere, thus making a strong case for the argument:
“Unknown does not mean worthless”
Remember the Thon at Philips, the Coulentianos at Roseburys, Lanza at Lots Road? These are only a small number among the dozens that I can really recount. There are still plenty of other unknown artists waiting to be discovered. The reference libraries, the myriad of publications on the Internet are great sources of information, but they only reveal a small part of the whole story. Unless you unite opportunity and available information you will not make that miraculous investment that might change your life.
There are thousands of unknown artists whose work merits more respect and better financial support. The auction arena is a very unforgiving and harsh environment where such work sells for a song, although worth a lot more artistically. If the artist is unknown to you but you like the piece, then buy for art, and value for money is certain to be there too. I paid thirty-two pounds for the Page watercolours at the counter of Christie’s South Kensington. Ingrald –Lund is generally unknown, but the royal content of the painting renders it valuable. What is the difference in the art of Amorsolo and his student Custodio? The first is a famous, known artist selling over £100,000 at auction and the second one a little known artist selling for just over £1,000.
An unknown artist does not mean a bad artist; on the contrary it might mean a future master and a treasure!
Trendy and fashionable artists
There are times and long periods when the work of an artist is exceedingly desirable and much sought after by serious investors as well as one off investors who want to jump on the bandwagon. As a seasoned investor, I have already learned to avoid hot and trendy artists.
Many artists are trendy and fashionable, but not necessarily a good and sound investment for the future. What I advise here cannot be dismissed lightly:
· When an artist becomes highly fashionable and trendy, the call of the sirens and respectable gurus to invest in his/her art is a loud warning to avoid investing in such art and artist.
· Investing in an artist whose prices are frothing cannot be the best investment strategy.
Every country has its trendy and fashionable artists. They are extremely desirable and expensive contemporary artists. They are still alive, producing work in abundance, actually too much art for comfort. Will they be that collectable and a sound investment in twenty-thirty years’ time? That remains to be seen and therefore my advice is to be careful with such investments, as their future value is not guaranteed.
Art history and auction prices talk about artists whose prices saw meteoric rises for one reason or another. Then prices gradually came down to a level that made their work affordable and one where many investors were happy to invest in. What changed? Trends, fashions and times! Victorian art is not fashionable right now; the Pre-Raphaelites were the trendy art of the late 1980s and early 1990s, but the prices achieved about twenty years ago are not possible any more. A few investors disappeared, prices fell and the crazy prices of those are a distant memory.
It would be unwise to part with a significant sum of money because all of a sudden certain collectors chase the work of an artist. The reasons might be promotional rather than real quality of art and market forces. There is no need to mention names among the top contemporary artists, but beware of the huge bubbles that are ready to explode. Wise are the investors who bought the art of famous contemporary artists when these artists were relatively unknown!
“Leading the pack is much wiser than following the flock!”