Art News

On The Rise

This week we look at the highs and lows of collecting, Damien Hirst and how to tackle the art market in these fraught times.

By Scott Phillips | 19 Apr 2011

For the uninitiated, collecting art can be a humbling experience. Insiders and observers will agree that the global art market remains one of the last unregulated markets. Curator Kenny Schachter recently published an article where he admitted that “most artworks have different prices depending on the knowledge of the prospective buyer”. A sobering thought for any novice entering the market – and why we, at Rise Art, aim to provide complete transparency on the artists and artwork we sell.

The opaque nature of the art world means that new collectors often pay over the odds for works that may have limited value, or represent a weaker offering from an artist. Take, for example, the famous Damien Hirst auction “Beautiful Inside My Head Forever”, which took place the day Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008. The sale was unique in that 39% of buyers at the auction had never purchased contemporary art before. The artist consigned 223 new works that went on to generate £93 million in sales and was heralded as a tremendous success.

In the two and a half years since the auction, the artist's work has fallen sharply at auction. Despite the fact that Hirst remains a global brand, serious collectors have avoided his more mainstream works, which often have been produced in great numbers with little involvement from the artist. While the artist has secured a name for himself in art history, I wonder how many of those new buyers at auction truly got their money's worth.

This past week, Jo from the Rise Art editorial team put together a great piece on 10 steps to buying art , providing insight into what should be investigated when buying - especially with limited editions. With a little help, hopefully you can avoid becoming the next victim of overpriced art.


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