Hesitation is an art collector’s nemesis. That’s what gallery owners and curators like to say, but is hesitation a bad strategy when you are building an art collection? The answer is it depends on who you ask. Artists that are considered the hot commodities would like you to act rather than hesitate because being a hot artist is not a long term career. Artists have their highs and lows like all creative innovators. What is hot today may cool off tomorrow, and then become hot 50 years from now, so the best time to start collecting is now. The main objective is to focus on a specific segment of the art world and research the artists in that segment. Some of the hot artists now may command too much money for their work, but a new artist that is trying to get a break sells art to eat, and that’s where the bargains are.
So how do you become the next Adam Sender? Sender was a successful hedge fund manager that put his extra money in art. Of course, he had help. Sender had enough money to buy expensive pieces of art, and he use art curator Todd Levin as a sounding board. Their business relationship paid off. Sender sold some of the pieces in his collection for a cool $90 million over the last nine years. And he still has a major portion of his collection in a gallery in Miami. What Sender was able to do was identify the young artists that told a timely story on canvas. Levin kept Sender up-to-date on all the contemporary artists, and then Sender used his instincts and Levin’s advice to purchase piece after piece of original art. Some experts say Sender spent more than $20 million on his collection, and he got that investment back in 2006 when he sold a few pieces from his collection.
The moral of this art collecting story, if there is one, is to listen to professionals, go to galleries and keep up to date on new artists. Start now and take a few chances. The bargains are only bargains now. They might be sought after collector’s pieces a few years from now and you could own them.