To Dream, to Collect

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There is now little to no doubt that art is, in many cases, considered a commodity - even those who are not completely immersed in it on a daily basis can see a bombastic headline here and there about an even more bombastic sale of a painting or sculpture. It’s all about them millions of dollars spent, mostly as an investment and mostly by wealthy individuals who have already made it in other markets where big money is made.

But here is a healthy reminder - the art market is thankfully much broader than that, much more versatile, and much more exciting. It is certainly not just about the $400 million da Vinci or the $90 million Koons, but also about artists who are only just beginning their journeys and whose visions promise to make an impact and a good impression - and not just on their possible collectors. Read more about how digital is creating new smart ways to collect… Whether you are a seasoned art enthusiast or you are starting your collection as we speak, finding new talents whose work you like is a challenging, yet quite a thrilling experience. But how does one discover emerging artists? Where shall one search? And once a star is born (and found), how do we know if it’s the right choice, for an investment and otherwise? Why Investing In Art Is a Good Idea...

 

Peggy Guggenheim alla XXIX Biennale di Venezia del 1958 davanti a un'opera di Osvaldo Licini. Courtesy Artribune

 

Who is an Emerging Artist?

Contrary to what might be a popular belief, an emerging artist is not necessarily a young one - although it is true that many of them plunged into the art world straight from college or MA programs. The term “emerging” actually refers to the point in an artist’s career, meaning that this person is in its early stages. These up-and-coming individuals, as just mentioned, often have an academic background in the arts (but can also be self-taught) and a modest body of work that has perhaps already been recognized by an art critic, art dealer or an owner of a (typically small) art gallery. These artists have yet to establish a solid reputation, but the oeuvres they created up until that point look promising and possibly have the “x” factor. 4 Most Expensive Artworks by Living Artists...

However, like in other spheres of life, there is no guarantee that the artist you got your eye on, and especially for investment purposes, will become the new KAWS and help you earn a lot of money - in fact, only a small portion of the group that someone deems “emerging artists” do make it in the big world, while most of them linger in the middle or the higher ground with moderate success. This surely shouldn’t discourage you, because to support artists who are making a difference and who produce meaningful, enchanting works of art is never not a good idea.

Where to Discover Emerging Artists?

Let’s say you are now feeling equipped to start looking for some emerging art. You are sitting in front of your computer or there is a phone in your hands, so why not begin online? With the internet being the very hotbed of fake news and lewd information though, one can never be too careful. On the other hand, there is a number of trustworthy art-selling platforms (of course, one of them being Kooness) on which you can browse artworks.

 

Lin Zhipeng, Flower Bad, 2011. Courtesy CUBO Gallery and Kooness.com

 

Going on social media networks could also prove fruitful, as many artists advertise their work through Facebook, Twitter and perhaps most prominently Instagram (in fact, according to the 2019 Hiscox Online Art Trade Report, 65% of their survey respondents say Instagram is their preferred art-buying channel). Through hashtags and your location, you can discover emerging artists near you at any point in time. Latest artistic trends on Instagram!

If you prefer fresh air instead, a visit to a local gallery or museum might just be the right thing to do. Often there are also local art guides that let you come upon some interesting art. Another good idea is art fairs, but rather than the “main”, focus on the satellite ones, as they feature smaller, younger galleries with up-and-coming names.

How to Understand if an Emerging Artist Has Value

Bearing in mind yet again that the art market is an increasingly money-driven one, it is important to be aware of the influence that dealers and gallerists can have on an emerging artist. In an effort to make more money out of them and their art, they might persuade collectors to bulk-buy artworks and quickly create a market which almost always ends up in disaster - there is no one else left to answer its supply. Artists would also create works of certain aesthetics in order to satisfy the demands of the greater market and current trends, which leads us to believe their ambition only lies in being rich, and that their style, and very possibly success, depend solely on that. An Artist Manual - How To Price Your Art

Of course, this can happen, but it is not the prerogative. When it comes to buying art in general, the main advice is to buy with your gut and to buy what you like. If you’re at an emerging artists exhibition or you are browsing tags on Instagram, if you see something you like you should definitely try and find out more about it. If a work is appealing and is standing out, it is most likely something that will end up hanging on your own wall. Look up information about the artist, see if they’ve already been exhibited, where and by whom, find out more about their gallerist (if they have one), see if perhaps they did an interview in which they talk about their work. Studio visits are also recommended, as you can meet the artist in person, see their work first-hand, and witness their creative process.

How to Invest in Up-and-Coming Art?

Now that you’ve become a proud owner of a work of an emerging artist, what are the next steps?

Stay up-to-date with the artist’s career - see how they are doing, how their style is developing. Are they having their pieces featured in shows, festivals and biennials? Perhaps their work is already selling in auctions too. You can also buy more of their artwork, should you like it.

Stay in touch with the person or people who introduced you to this artist, as they might lead you to discover more emerging talent of interest. Talk to other collectors and see what they recommend. Be informed on art and see what’s featured in news and articles. Take care of the art that you already own. The truth is that you’ll never know whether an artist you invest in will meet all your expectations. But great art usually requires patience, both of artists making them and those who wish to enjoy it. Believing in an emerging creative you like and nurturing their career is always a pleasure on its own already, and if you also end up making money off of it as well, then surely good for you!

Cover images: The flat Gallery.

Stay Tuned to Kooness magazine for more exciting news from the art world.

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