JM: I learned so much listening to your recent talk on 10 Keys to Collecting Art. I felt like you provided the keys to unlock the door to building a solid art collection. How would a person who is new to art collecting start the process? How would they educate themselves and train their eye?
LY: The first thing is, don’t buy anything. Spend time learning and discovering what you like. Seek experiences, visit museums and galleries that are new to you, check out library books on art, even go to street fairs. Immerse yourself in art magazines and online art websites.
JM: Why is it important to wait to purchase art and educate yourself?
LY: A person’s art collection is an expression of themselves. Don’t buy for pedigree alone. You must love the piece of art. Take the time to seek out art experiences. This kind of exploration will help you discover what truly resonates with you. Art is very personal and should be a reflection of you and your lifestyle.
JM: During your talk you mentioned a telling story about one of your collector clients and a broken plate. Can you tell us that story?
LY: I was advising a client on the purchase of a Picasso ceramic plate. As they are rare, he wanted to purchase the first one he came across. Much to his chagrin, I advised him to wait and see what else might come on the market. Three times he came across pieces to purchase and I advised him to wait. I felt we could find one that was in better condition and valued more in line with the investment he was going to make. Sure enough on one of the plates, which I had x-rayed for damage, we found that the plate had been damaged and restored, tremendously lowering the value of the piece. Finally, we did find one that was in fantastic condition and half of the price of the first one he wanted to buy. He was a happy client and so satisfied with his find.
Waiting is hard to do but fine art is an investment. It cannot be returned and you never want to experience buyers remorse.
JM: Any last words of advice on building a collection?
LY: Your home, where your art collection lives, is an expression of you. Art feeds your soul and fulfills a basic human need to say “ I exist, I am unique, this is me, this is what makes me smile!”
Lily Yu is an Art Agent, Cerified Art Appraiser, and so much more…
To contact Lily Yu, visit msagentart.com