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What to know before buying your first artwork
Get inspired 21 Sep 2016

What to know before buying your first artwork

Whether it is a big splurge or it is a thought out purchase, there are a couple of things to know before buying your very first work of art. To start an art collection is not alway easy… In order to guide you with your first buy, here are a few points to have in mind and good habits to keep afterwards. 

  • Know thyself… know your tastes

To do this, nothing better than going to galleries and museums. Of course, it is not necessary to be an expert. Every alert art amateur can determine what he likes and does not. Surf on the web as well, there you can discover even more artworks from different movements and countries. Your tastes will eventually evolve but it is important to do a first round-up.

tony cragg

PATRICK CHELLI – Le Louvre 2, 2015
  1. Set a budget

It is your first purchase so you have the right to set yourself a limited budget. Do not forget to anticipate costs such as delivery and installation if the work requires it. If you have bought a print or painting, think about the framing. Do not hesitate to ask for payment instalments if you are spending a considerable amount of money. Last but not least, expect to spend a little more than planned and above all, allow yourself to go over budget if you really fall in love with a piece. Art collectors’ biggest regrets are often the works they adored but did not buy rather than any of those they did purchase.


KARL LAGASSE – One Dollar, 2016
  • Keep ALL the documents related to the purchase

Do not throw anything away : receipt, certificate of authenticity, etc. These documents will serve to authenticate and value an artwork.

  • Pay attention to the size of the work

You will most probably be exposing the work in your home so make sure that in terms of size, it will correspond to the space you had in mind.

KEYMI – Alice, 2016
  • Learn more about the artist

Start by having a look at the artist’s CV, the exhibitions he or she has done recently. To know this information will allow you to predict the artist’s growth on the market but also to have a better idea of the artist’s aims and message. If the artist is accessible, you can even consider a meeting in his or her studio. This will allow you to talk about his or her creative process and to feel personally closer to the artwork.

  • Go off the beaten track : take interest in young talents !

“Decorative” pieces are often more expensive and will not be worth as much as those by young artists in the long term. Collecting art is the opportunity to make new discoveries !


GASPARD MITZ – May ?!, 2014
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Founded in 2013, Artsper is an online marketplace for contemporary art. Partnering with 1,800 professional art galleries around the world, it makes discovering and acquiring art accessible to all.

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