The most satisfying aspect of my time at the helm of Australia’s leading art auction house has been the opportunity to work intimately with collectors to build and shape their prized art collections. This is not an arrangement which is struck overnight, but the result of dozens of conversations, emails, face-to-face encounters, due diligence, and a gradual accumulation of trust, respect, and camaraderie.
It is not uncommon for prospective art collectors to feel apprehensive or overwhelmed by the idea of entering a gallery or auction house for the first time. Though art is prized for its social, cultural and investment value throughout all layers of society, its pricing is arbitrary, its value largely misunderstood, and its trade is almost entirely unregulated.
In my experience, a budding collector’s experience and confidence can be tarnished by:
- confusion related to how, where or even why to begin
- visiting a gallery, art fair or auction house and encountering sales staff who are aloof, elitist or overbearing
- purchasing an artwork from an ill-advised outlet (i.e. an ‘art investment’ broker, aboard a cruise ship, a charity auction or under the guise of benevolence at the exhibition of a friend or acquaintance) without the benefit of planning or due diligence and then later discovering that its market value was a fraction of the price paid
- purchasing an artwork as a result of a fleeting connection which dissipated once the initial thrill of a new acquisition wore-off
- favouring quantity over quality, thereby becoming stuck in a holding pattern where affordable purchases are made frequently, but the collector lacks the confidence and resources to act when more substantial collecting opportunities arise
- purchasing art from untrustworthy sources whereby quality and authenticity is called into question
FIVE FIFTY ART ADVISORY Buyer Advocacy services include:
THE FIVE FIFTY REPORT: an expedient, detailed, cost-effective due diligence report available on demand for anyone contemplating a fine art purchase
Tailored advice and mentorship for budding collectors
Representation for collectors contemplating fine art purchases through both the primary and secondary markets (i.e. support and negotiation with galleries/due diligence and bidding at auction)