The art world is notorious for its lack of regulation and transparency, and the global market is full of complexities; it can help to have someone on your side - an art advisor, or consultant - to help you make sense of it all and make the right purchasing decisions as a collector. However, even choosing a consultant can be a daunting task! The Clarion List has almost 800 listings for art consultants, and there are certainly many more globally.
For the last decade, the market has been abuzz with the emergence of fine art as an asset class. Now, perhaps more than at any other point in the history of art collecting, purchase decisions are heavily influenced by an artwork’s value as an investment.
Collectors and museums interact in myriad ways, some more obvious than others. Institutions may be where collectors receive their first aesthetic educations, and collectors’ names often accompany the wall text as the donors of the pieces on view. Sitting on museum boards, collectors often guide major institutions, support them financially, and help plan annual benefits.
But the idea of financial advisors linking client development to the art world isn’t new, says Leslie Rankow, who advises collectors in New York and earns a commission on their purchases. In addition to Morgan Stanley’s Blue Rider Group, she mentions Citigroup’s Private Bank Art Advisory & Finance and UBS in general.
New analytical tools have made the fine-art market more transparent than it used to be. But that’s not saying much. Advisors with art-loving clients should avoid directing their purchases, let alone building them into a financial plan, say those with experience.
When it comes to buying art, which city ranks top for new talent, which is best for convenience, and which houses the greatest boutique galleries? Sophie Grove puts New York, London and Berlin to the test.
NEW YORK: HOTTIP - Enlist an art consultant
Fine art guru, Leslie Rankow, is a good barometer. Or, look up a specialist on NYC's trusted ArtRegister. But remember to buy what you love. And don't forget to stop off at the Chelsea branch of Comme des Garçons, where the daring fashion collections are part of an ever-changing art installation. www.leslierankow.com
You're ready to start collecting "real art." Unfortunately, you don't know a Klee from a Kiefer and think that Chuck Close drew the Bugs Bunny cartoons. Or maybe you have bought some pieces from up-and-coming (a k a unknown) artists and want to move to more established ones. Perhaps you're a more experienced collector who has fallen in love with a painting but wondered whether it was worth its hefty price. You are not alone.