Ask A Curator

How to Start Buying and Investing in Art: Part 2

There are two ways that you can go about beginning to buy art. One way is to see a work, fall in love with it, and buy it there and then on the spot. The second way is to spend some time going to exhibitions, degree shows at art colleges, and to do plenty of background research.

Doing research can help you make an informed decision when it comes to buying art. It can also lend you additional confidence when trying to understand why you like certain types of art.

Bone Up on Your Reading Material

In order to get started, we recommend reading arts magazines and the visual arts sections of newspapers. Some of our favorites include ArtReview, New American PaintingsElephantand LA-newcomer CARLA.

Visit Gallery and Museum Exhibitions

The more exhibitions you visit, the more you will expand the range of visual material that you are exposed to. Visiting your local museum is a great place to start going to more exhibitions. Many museums offer encyclopedic art collections, like the one at LACMA, which can help you learn the history of art by region and context. Other museums like MOCA present programming focused on contemporary artists, many of them living today. Apps like See Saw and Curate LA can help you discover what’s on in your hometown or in cities that you visit.

Go Even More in Depth

To delve a bit deeper into an exhibition, sign up to attend a lecture or curator-led tour. These can help you understand what you’re looking at, and can make the experience more meaning to you. Check out Gertrude for upcoming salons in your city.

See What Art Students Are Up To

Another way to do more research is to visit degree shows at art colleges. Students pursuing their BA’s and MA’s will exhibit the works they’ve most recently created. By seeing these works, you can hopefully gain a better sense of new trends amongst emerging artists.

Dive In at Saatchi Art

If you don’t think you have the time, then you can check out Saatchi Art’s series called One to Watch, where we focus on the best emerging artists from around the world. Each week an emerging artist of particular note is featured. Sign up for the Saatchi Art newsletter for weekly bite-sized selections of new artwork and our curated collections.

Ready to start building your own collection? Read Saatchi Art’s complimentary ebook 7 Essential Steps to Collecting Emerging Art, written by our Chief Curator Rebecca Wilson.

About the Author

Katherine Henning is Senior Associate Curator at Saatchi Art. Need help finding art? Contact her via our free Art Advisory service here.