“If we let people … tell us what art is or what important art is or what good art is, we, … deserve the art we get and the price we pay.

This is a great follow-up article to the last one I posted, by Crispin Sartwell in the New York Times. This is almost exactly my point in saying, people who want to invest in art and antiques need to ask experts, unbiased experts, for help, because we have only one interest, to make sure you have picked what you are paying for and what you want! Not, what we tell you you want! Our fees for consulting and appraising are unattached to the value of the art work, or at least they should be, as that is the only way we can truly be unbiased and keep YOUR interests first. The only way we can make a loyal client is with the unbiased truth and nothing else. One of the answer you must expect from an honest expert is “I do not know. Let me check into it.” Anyone who seems to know everything is exactly like the proverbial “if it is too good to be true, it probably is!” Similarly, always remember, a dealer’s business is to sell you the piece for the highest possible profit they can and hope that you will come back to them again, or not. There are great and honest dealers out there who are well worth doing business with, but many are not. This is a good read, http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-sartwell-price-of-art-20130212,0,2523689.story

The image below is from the above Sartwell article, and as Sartwell asks his readers, is this Popeye statue really million dollar art? The dealer said so, the buyer was apparently willing to let the dealer make his mind up for him initially in Sartwell’s opinion, what do you think? My opinion is, it is cool, because I like these kinds of metal finishes. It appeasers to have been a lot of work/effort, which I can respect. But it is not a culturally contributing or changing art work, which to me is the essence of real art, be it familially, locally, nationally or internationally recognized.

"Popeye" by US artist Jeff Koons is on d

Greg C. Brown, MS, ISA.


Interesting article on art collecting from the Business Insider.

So many people think they should start investing in high-end art and antique, and they are right. But, most are not willing to drop their egos to ask experts for help. It is really important to do so at the beginning of your entrance into the art and antiques investment collecting world, as the up front costs for asking us for advice will save you a lot of pain and money in the long run, yes really! That is not only a sale pitch for us, but it is the truth. If you do not believe it, go out and start buying some art and antiques for investment on your own, and see what happens. Then, feel free to come back to us and ask for help, we have all been through it, and will empathize with you, but with the caveat that we told you to just ask for help from the beginning. Let us help and train you to head off on your own.  Once that relationship is established, you will be able to head out on your own, and call us for help less often into the future. However, we will both be better off for the relationship in the end.

Here is an interesting read about some of the top art collectors in the world and a follow-up article about how to start into it (the photo below is from this article) found on the Business Insider website at: http://www.businessinsider.com/most-powerful-art-collectors-2011-12?op=1.


Some basic advice for new art collectors/new collections.

The first thing is, to educate yourself about the area or areas you want to collect in, and not just read one book, but do it in-depth, become a scholar. Otherwise, expect to get burned if you do it alone and with limited education about what you are interested in. It is when a “collector” gets lazy or when they find that they think they know enough that they will get caught by a shyster. Ego gets in the way much more than you think it does, “because I have studied enough already!” There is really never “enough”, because the fakers and fraudsters are aways trying to stay one step ahead of the art historians and especially the uneducated public.  The one thing that you must be exceptionally careful about and understand is that this industry has more conmen/conwomen in it than there are honest people! I hate to say it, but it is true, and you must get it – so only work with people who have stellar reputations and/or have been recommended to you by people you truly know and trust. Be careful every time you buy!

At the beginning you really should use a consultant to work with OTHER than the dealer themselves – dealers have a distinct interest – their own, no matter how friendly and helpful they are. Here is a small example of this, I had a friend refer his father-in-law to me because he wanted to start collecting art and had thought he found a little gold mine in a shop north of the Twin Cities. My friend convinced him to consult with me, and he did. Of the 6 “Fine Art Prints”, 2 x Picasso, 2 x Chagall and 2 x Warhol, all moderate sized, 3 were fake and he did not want to spend the money on the Warhols to have them authenticated appropriately, to which I told him I would have to err on the side of them being forgeries based on the fact that I had two Warhol experts both say they thought they were fakes! Only 1 Picasso was real! I saved him over $14,000.00 USD because he knew enough to know he needed help because he was new to collecting! A good consultant will be happy to teach you and help you head off on your own way. This in turn will allow you to create trust in them so that in the future, if you are not sure, you will always have them to contact and work with again – for which they will be very happy to have the repeat business and trust. Good luck.