Starting a collection of contemporary art can be a daunting task. Questions of taste, meaning and even conservation can all become part of what may appear a task reserved for experts only. Today we have an incredible number of artists, not to mention a plethora of commercial galleries and online companies, all offering a bewildering variety of art for sale. The great diversity and pace of today’s artistic trends, along with the steady flow of media reports about dizzying prices, can present today’s would-be collector with a huge array of options. From sculptures and paintings to posters, from videos and performances to publications, the diverse and eclectic nature of contemporary aesthetics can for many seem frightening, making an objective valuation a tricky task.
The key to successfully start building a contemporary art collection lies in seeing the abundance of choice as a positive and enriching aspect.
The good news is that the art market needs new collectors and they are expected to start small. The first step is to establish a knowledge base and set your personal preferences. Museums, art institutions, non-commercial and prominent art galleries alike are entities one can rely on when getting to know art movements, media, trends, and your own sense of taste. Visiting art exhibitions, art fairs, talks and events is certainly a step towards identifying artists that you have an affinity for. The more you look, the better you will become in spotting the details that characterise iconic works which may rise in value. You will soon find yourself capturing the similarities found in the colour palette of seemingly different works and understanding the shared ideas that contemporary artists refer to in their work. It will help to train the eye, allowing for more than just visual appeal to inform your decision. Many works can be visually stunning, yet it is equally important to assess its originality and artistic intention.

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