How To Buy Contemporary Art Paintings?

Lilian Fendig

Anyone can make money out of contemporary art paintings. However, there are many factors that influence the dividends of an investment. These include the initial purchase price for the artwork, the success of the artist's career, the time involved in that success, the overall economic climate, possible major changes in the art market due to technological advances, art movements, and media coverage, and when the work is sold.

If you want to make money from investing in a contemporary artworks, it is vital to buy early in the career of an artist who is destined for success. It is usually necessary to wait for lengthy periods of time for the artist's art paintings to gather momentum over time and increase in value. It is better to purchase when the economic climate has been weakened as prices are lower and sell when the market is strong. These are factors that all need to be considered when investing in contemporary art paintings.

Anyone can invest in contemporary art paintings. Of course it depends on your budget and what you are looking to invest in. The best way to go about investing is to do your due diligence and research first. The best places to research are the auction houses, such as Sothebys and Christies. There are others, however these have been the largest auction houses for a long time and they are worth checking. Other galleries that specialize in contemporary art are worth researching. These galleries are in every major city and most regional areas also have galleries. Local media sources are also good at identifying the galleries specializing in contemporary art. There may be a local arts section in your paper or a city publication outlining the galleries. It is well worth going to the opening nights of some of these galleries and talking to people. It will take some time to get a handle on the market, so don't rush into anything, just enjoy contemplating the works and the right piece will come along.

When you are looking to collect contemporary art paintings that will give you significant returns, it usually involves a gamble on emerging or upcoming artists and it involves time. These artists can usually be found exhibiting themselves or are represented by cutting edge galleries in major cities or regional areas. Once again, this involves research and going to contemporary exhibitions. The dividends can be huge, however it usually takes decades for this to occur. It usually takes time for any artist to be recognized by their peers, the art scene/world, the media and to become the next big thing. For many artists, this never happens, therefore it pays to research first.

The broad scope of contemporary paintings are defined by their genre and the era in which they were created. Some consider them to commence from the 1960's and 1970's up until the time we live in now. They can also be defined as artwork that is currently contemporary to whichever age we are living in. Pop art paintings were most contemporary in the1960's just as Abstract Expressionist paintings were in the decade before that.

Here is an example of how contemporary artworks increase in value, sometimes in a phenomenal way. The Financial Times recently reported that in 1986, an anonymous collector bought a 1962 Andy Warhol painting '200 One Dollar Bills' for $385,000. This sounds like an expensive investment. In November 2009, it sold for $43.8m at New York's Sotheby's auction house. There are many such examples of amazing returns on investment. An outlay of $385 000 may not be possible for everyone, however there can still be significant returns over time if a new collector purchases for hundreds of dollars rather than hundreds of thousands.

The contemporary art market has been affected by the recent economic downturn. This has been evidenced in gallery closures, reported downturn of sales at auction houses and an overall decrease in sales. However, the Financial Times heralded a positive change in the contemporary art paintings market with this recent sale of the Warhol, 1962 Warhol painting for $43.8m.

It is an ideal time to invest when the market has undergone a downturn. There is much greater chance of investing with significant return if the market has been weakened by the economic climate. According to many speculators and analysts, this has been the case for contemporary art paintings for the last year. Savvy investors can become avid collectors in a market such as this, as the returns can yield much higher dividends in the future. As reported by the Financial Times, collectors are just starting to pay big dollars again for contemporary art paintings, so now could be considered a prime time to invest in your future.