Why buying what you like can be very costly

Buying a work of art is an experience that is all too often felt in a purely emotional way. Even people who are usually well informed and aware make their choices relying on instinct when they acquire a work of art. Such choices can cost you dearly. How, in fact, can the information provided by the seller be considered reliable and impartial?

Nobody would ever buy a second-hand car without even opening the bonnet, just relying on its owner’s verbal assurances. Yet too many people go into the purchase of a work of art, which is often much more expensive than an exclusive car, practically with their eyes closed.

Works of art, real ones, undoubtedly speak to people’s hearts. And allowing ourselves to respond emotionally to them is sacrosanct. The aesthetic pleasure that a work transmits is one thing, while the fact that we are not admiring the work at an exhibition but actually buying it, is quite another. Therefore, in order to avoid nasty surprises later on, it is indispensable for us to open our eyes wide beforehand. It is necessary to gather in-depth critical background information on the artist’s life and on the performance of their market over time. When considering financially demanding acquisitions it is essential to be certain of the authenticity of the work and to appraise the qualities boasted by its seller carefully by contacting an art consultant: a skilled professional, someone extraneous to the negotiations.

It is very common to purchase works that are impossible to resell. Every day we confirm this by examining the many artworks that collectors submit to us for valuation. Works that we reluctantly have to describe as “of purely decorative value”. In other words, of no value at all.