The Arts Show 27 January- Art Collecting Special

This week on The Arts Show Alex McCulloch interviews three art consultants to discuss tips on collecting art. Guests include author, curator and artist manager Ken McGregor and Anita Traynor and Paul Auckett.

Beginning an art collection

Starting an art collection is a daunting experience. Like any field that involves money it is complicated by competition between galleries; strong personal tastes that may not coincide with worth in terms of investment strategies and often the need for an art dealer or gallery to sell to the uninformed irregardless of the authenticity of the piece. It is most important to discover how to discern the value of a work aesthetically and its continued significance into the future.

1. Spend a week going to different kinds of art galleries and make a list of the art that you like. For example do a cross section of viewing at galleries like: a. National gallery of Victoria b. NGV, Australia, Federation Square c. NKN Gallery d. James Makin Gallery e. Mars Gallery

2. The above cross-section involves both public and Commercial galleries. Talk to your consultant about the difference after your personal sightings.

3. After looking at a cross-section of art ask your consultant to accompany you to some of these galleries and discuss with him/her the kinds of art that appeals to you. This will allow your consultant to think of like-art perhaps even better versions of your choices.

4. When you have decided the art that you like most, consult with someone knowledgeable about your selections and discover which ones have a chance of increasing in value.

5. Receive informed information about the quality of your tastes – be open to hearing criticisms and weigh up your immediate liking of a piece against experts’ views.

6. Don’t spread your interests too thinly- focus on a. emerging artists ( say 3 at the most) and b. established artists (2).

7. When investing in art think in terms firstly of what you like – paintings that can be looked into and ones that offer new visions on each sighting

8. When seeking advice from consultants in the field be wary of their interests and develop a trust with that person- if at any time you consider that he or she is merely interested in selling rather than developing with you a valuable collection be prepared to discuss this openly

9. You may discover that you have a preference for landscapes or portraiture or abstract art or super-realism: It is important to understand the difference in quality between various renditions: the nature of the surface; the use of the brush stroke; that quality of originality specific to one painter.

10. Be aware of the artists that receive prizes and who are bought by public galleries. Consult with your consultant whether these selections are primarily to do with quality; fashion or personal taste of the person making the acquisition. You need a personal art consultant to inform you of this

Alex McCulloch Art provides a service that takes the above points into full consideration. The best part of the adventure of being an art consultant is being part of building a collection with someone. In a sense one observes as the invester learns to put pieces together as a visual representation of how he or she sees her world.