When Is the Right Time to Start Collecting Art?

Image by Barbara Kruger

Image by Barbara Kruger

Simple answer: NOW

Whether you like art for art’s sake or simply for investment, get on with it. Waiting is not going to make it cheaper or easier to buy what you like.

Never has there been more art produced, from more places, in more price ranges, available through more channels.

OK, but this creates the problem of how the hell to narrow it all down and focus not only on what you like, but also on what counts as art. Dithering isn’t going to change this. My advice will.

All taste evolves, so what you may start collecting today may not be what you like in 20 years. That’s why it’s important to not only buy what speaks to you, but what may also retain or grow in value, so you can sell it when it no longer suits your tastes.

I am an art addict, so perhaps I’m not best placed to judge, but I encourage everyone who can to start buying as soon as you can afford to. Start small and when you can, stretch yourself. 

Buy the best you can afford. It’s always better to buy the smallest, but best example, rather than a mediocre large work.

Do not start collecting until you have some knowledge and guidance. If decoration is your thing, it’s fine to buy what looks nice with no thought for value. If you’re interested in starting a serious collection, get help from trusted sources. 

In summary: start now, make mistakes, and learn a lot. Art collecting is one of the most exciting and fulfilling pastimes (and addictions) you can have.

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