Our late friend Marcel Salinas put together a list of How To's when it comes to buying and collecting art!
The art collector should never buy for investment, since all too often this means that he/she will buy badly and without love. On the other hand the collection or single painting that is bought for its quality and with love will often turn out to be an excellent investment also. (Christie's Collector Guide)
1. To purchase a work of art you should truly love the work. Without a strong attachment to this art the primary source of joy from collecting art is lost.
2. Value- As a collector you want to know the artwork that you select is truly worth what you paid and all indications are it will be worth more later. Work with a Gallery that you know and trust.
3. Credential- The artist's background and credentials are important. Find out about the artist. Check the authorship of the work and xamine the credentials. The artist that created the work is the main factor in the value of the work.
4. Collectors- Is this artist's work in major Museums, Corporate collections, etc.? Many great collectors look at the provenance, the listing of who has owned the work of that artist in the past.
5. Appreciation- No one knows what a work will bring in the future, but we can examine how the artist's work has appreciated in the past. It at least gives us an indication of the future value.
6. Rarity- This has to do with numbers and is especially relevant to multiples (limited edition prints, photographs, and sculptures). In general, all other things being equal, the smaller the body of work that is available, the better!
7. Authentication- This gets back to the Gallery you work with to make sure what you are buying is authentic.
8. Art created for special events- With everything being equal art created for a special event adds another dimension tot he value and collectability of art; of course this is amplified by the above factors of an artist and rarity.
9. Personal taste- Personal taste brings us back to the art we truly love. Follow your heart but with anything we do the more time we spend with it the better we get at it. As you become a more serious collector you will be attracted to better works just as wine connoisseurs appreciate better wines.
All these factors are easy if you work with a gallery you know and trust that will stand behind your purchase.
Art is the Love of Life