Art News

A Roadmap to Investing in Art

So you want to invest in art, but don’t know where to begin? Here is a roadmap of advice laid out by some of the art world’s most successful collectors.

Where to start…

‘I buy the best art I can with the money I’ve got.’

Bill Clarke bought his first major work of art, Untitled (cat and rabbit) by Marcel Dzama, for $1,000 because the drawing made him laugh and it was by someone his own age. The piece has now more than doubled in value, and Clarke continues to expand his collection of works on paper – in fact, he has become a recognized expert on the medium. His secret to smart investing? He has never spent more than $2,500 on a piece of art.

How to keep going…

‘Develop a sense of instinct and intuition.’

Joe Friday has developed a knack for spotting stars. He has invested in artists who would go on to be bought by the Guggenheim, win the Turner Prize, and make history at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. Friday’s talent did not just develop on its own, however – he spent time researching articles, reviews and career studies on the artists that interested him. After a quarter-century of researching, he now has the confidence in his vision to buy works by artists who don’t yet have a track record.

At the end of the day…

‘Put yourself into what you do.’

When Kenneth Montague was 10 years old he fell in love with a photograph titled Couple in Raccoon Coats by James VanDerZee, which depicted a Harlem couple wearing fur coats in front of a cadillac. Twenty years later he bought a print of that photograph for $10,000. When his friends asked why he wasn’t investing that money, Montague replied that he got way more joy out of the picture than talking about stocks – and today he owns one of the largest collections of images of black culture anywhere.

Ready to invest? Shop Saatchi Art’s Invest In Art 2016 Collection to find work by emerging artists that shows particular promise.

There are no guarantees when it comes to buying art and you should always feel happy with what you’re buying as it may be on your walls for a pleasurably long time. But if you are interested in the investment side of buying art then acquiring works by emerging artists is a great way to begin. We hope you enjoy our selection.

Angel, S., & Lozowchuk, M. (2012, August 30). The six habits of highly successful art collectors. Retrieved May 17, 2016, from