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The Do’s & Don’ts Of Buying Art As An Investment 

A piece of art featured in the EA Studios gallery

Professional art investors have sophisticated strategies when buying art as an investment. For instance, they may discover unknown but talented artists, buy up their catalogue of existing works and then use their galleries and infrastructure to promote them. 

In a way, these first investments in an artist create the evaluability of their work through manufacturing their celebrity. This process is likely behind the success of your favorite famous artists. But unfortunately, most people do not have the time, infrastructure or inclination to take such an advanced strategy.

The average person investing in original artwork should look for an established artist with a significant following and a style they enjoy. By personally appreciating the art you collect, you’re more likely to hold onto it long-term. If you are looking at art as an investment, ideally, the artist’s popularity should be increasing or should have the prospect of rising at certain events in the future. With popularity comes value, as long as the piece is authentic.

But how can you be sure what is authentic when investing in art?

Jade Bald Eagle is an authentic & investment grade serialized jade sculpture by David Wong

What You Need To Look Out For When Considering Artwork Authenticity

In some instances, you can identify signs of authenticity just by knowing the artist. For example, the first thing you should consider is the medium. Was it done with acrylics? Water-based paints? Oils? Charcoal or another medium? If an artist is known for their acrylic paintings and you find an oil painting for sale, it should raise some red flags. Of course, sometimes artists switch their mediums, but this is where research and knowledge of their work are helpful. 

For a painting, you can also inspect the back of the canvas, the strapping, the framing and other accoutrements. For sculptures, consider the material used and the tools to shape them.

Paper ages and turns yellow to brown over time, particularly the acidic paper used before the 1950s. If a painting or drawing is supposed to be more than 100 years old, the paper should not look or smell new.

Likewise, the wooden strapping of a 100+ year old painting should be blackening, as would an original frame. If the frame or strapping is new, this can impact the value, even if the art itself is authentic. New framing materials can also indicate that the art inside is fake.

The most valuable artworks are complete, original, and produced by popular artists with captivating stories and incredible talent.

Check The Back Of The Art & Things Attached To Make Sure It Is The Right Age & Materials

The Grand Wabina Shaman is a great example of an authentic Norval Morrisseau and is perfect for someone buying art as an investment

Get Provenance From A Reputable Expert When Buying Art As An Investment

Provenance is key to ensuring you get what you paid for when buying art as an investment.

Provenance is a record of the ownership of a piece of artwork going back to the original artist. When produced by a professional, it protects buyers in two significant ways. 

First, it protects buyers by giving them a way to verify the chain of ownership. For example, suppose you get a professional to contact all the people in the chain of custody and they all vouch for the piece. In that case, that is an excellent indication of authenticity and potential value.

Secondly, provenance protects you if the chain of custody outlined is proven wrong. In such a case, it is sometimes possible to sue the expert or dealer to recover the cost of your investment. <Paragraph >

Get A Provenance To Buy Piece Of Mind & Legal Assurances Of Authenticity

Research The History Of Fakes For The Artist & Look For Disputed Signs On The Piece

Most prominent artists have had forgery rings profiting off their work at some point, meaning there are many fakes on the secondhand market. Shopping at a reputable art gallery or dealer dramatically decreases the likelihood they will show you a fake. However, you should still look for signs of authenticity when buying art as an investment, not just for pleasure.

For example, at EA Studios, we have a large selection of authenticated Norval Morrisseau paintings. The paintings in our collection were created and purchased during his sponsorship by our studio. The popularity of the Woodland School of Art that he pioneered is still very in demand, and his celebrity is still growing. The works at our gallery are of high value to art investors interested in Canadian and Indigenous art.

Astral Bear On Deer Skin Leather From 1987 is an authentic Norval Morrisseau piece. It features typical themes and imagery on properly aged skin medium, making it great for people investing in art

Don’t rush into an art investment. Instead, do your research and make sure you reach out to reputable art studios and dealers to view authentic art before buying art as an investment. 

If you are looking to add fine art to your collection, contact EA Studios today. We carry an extensive collection of Norval Morrisseau’s original works painted during his sponsorship by our studio at the Maligne Canyon Teahouse. Reach out through our website or give us a call today to book a studio tour at 1-866-621-7201