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How to start investing in art

Art has shown long-term returns that rival bonds

By Pippa Stevens

Art is a popular alternative investment opportunity, but how do you get in on the ground floor?

Before we start, it is important to underline exactly what makes some artworks so highly sought-after by investors.

The key word here is investment. Many are drawn to the market because of the returns that can be gained should an investor work hard to identify which paintings stand the most chance of rising in value over time.

Reporting on the art market in 2017, Artprice unveiled statistics that do a remarkable job of illustrating this – showing why art can be such an attractive alternative investment if the right moves are made.

Consider Jim Crow (1986) by Jean-Michel Basquiat. In December 1992 it fetched $136,367 at auction. Last year, the painting sold for $17,680,936 at Christie’s Paris.

Other notable stock sales throughout 2017 include All I’ve Heard (1988) by Richard Prince for $2,532,500 (auctioned for $38,125 in 2000) and Concetto spaziale, Attese (1962-1963) by Lucio Fontana for $4,957,024 (auctioned for $84,630 in 1997).

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