How to collect art: 'Here are two ways in which you can profit by collecting art'

With a new World Record price set for an Andy Warhol piece and further success for Damien Hirst at London's Frieze fair, it's been an exciting fortnight for the art markets. But what do these big multi-million sales mean for you as an investor?

Well, as you read on I'll show you two great examples of how two collectors benefitted from the multi-million art markets... What's more, they only spent entry-level prices. How can you do the same? Well here are two different ways that you can invest in art collectibles...

It can be about spotting value, before others do...  

"I primarily buy art to show it off" - Charles Saatchi

It happened back in 1990... Charles Saatchi, the art collector and business magnate, pulled up in his green Rolls Royce outside a London warehouse art exhibition. Inside, Saatchi stood opened-mouthed with astonishment before one of the exhibits.

Before him was a large glass case containing maggots and flies feeding off a rotting cows head. The artist had titled it A Thousand Years. Incredibly, Saatchi not only bought the work but also offered to fund whatever artwork its creator next wanted to make...

That young artist was Damien Hirst. His deal with Saatchi resulted in Hirst's iconic 'shark in formaldehyde' piece (The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living) - a piece which is still talked about this day.

Modern artworks like Peter Monkman’s 2009 BP Portrait Award-winning Archetype 1 could be a valuable future asset for budding ‘Charles Saatchi-like’ investors (You can find out more here


Overall, the artwork cost Saatchi £50,000 to produce (including £6,000 for the shark itself, which was captured in Australia). Years later, in 2004, Saatchi sold the  'shark in formaldehyde' to collector Steven A Cohen...

Cohen bought it for $8m - making it the second most valuable artwork by a living artist, second only to Jeff Koons. Clearly, Saatchi's decision to invest in Damien Hirst had paid off...

What's more, Charles Saatchi won't be the last collector to benefit from spotting a future big artist early - and he certainly wasn't the first... Take Dennis Hopper, for example. He wasn't just a great actor, but also a major art collector.

Back when Hopper was still a struggling young actor - before his iconic roles in Blue Velvet, Apocalypse Now and other films - his early investments not only helped him pay his debts. They also helped him up the financial ladder...

Among Hopper's early purchases was an especially remarkable piece: one of Andy Warhol's iconic Campbell's Soup paintings. Astonishingly, Hopper bought it for just $75. Of course, it would be worth considerably more today...

Just like Saatchi, Hopper not only loved art - his passion lead him towards spotting valuable artworks before other investors.

Or it can be about making your money go further...

One thing that the art markets offer in abundance is choice and flexibility as to where you can spend your cash. On the one hand, you might fancy yourself as a future Saatchi or Hopper (ie able to spot a future valuable asset). Or you may be looking for a more predictable entry-level investment...

For example, take Paul Fraser Collectibles' home city of Bristol. There are plenty of art galleries all over Bristol, of varying sizes. And many of them offer works by new and upcoming artists. They are priced at anything from two-figure prices to thousands of pounds.

Such artworks offer great opportunities to budding Saatchis and Hoppers. As assets, they might gain value in future years. But imagine this... Instead of spending £600 on a print by a new artist art, how about if you could own an original work by an Old Master for only slightly more...?

Elsewhere, collectors looking for ‘sure thing’ investments
can find original works by the Old Masters, like this
Picasso, on the market for entry-level investment prices

For example, how much do you think an original ink and wash drawing, signed and inscribed by Pablo Picasso, would cost? While some Picassos - aka 'the greatest artist of the 20th century' - bring millions at auction, this ink and wash piece can be yours for just five figures...

Likewise signed works by Marc Chagall, 'the quintessential Jewish artist of the twentieth century' or the master sculpture Auguste Rodin. And also Damien Hirst. As we reported today, two original Hirst sketches are auctioning in London estimated at just £1,500-2,000 and £600-800.

These are all great opportunities for entry-level investors. And they also show that, for as long as the Picassos, Warhols and Hirsts are selling for millions at global auctions, there will be more and more opportunities for you to get involved in these varied and thriving art markets.

Until next week, good luck and happy collecting!




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