STRENGTH, DEPTH AND DIVERSITY
the evolution of an art collection
Regardless of how you view your collecting, whether serious or recreational, there are techniques you can use to maximise the quality and value, both financial and emotional, of your art.
A quality collection is always evolving and never static, and regular reassessments offer a chance to explore something different - less conventional artworks, a new genre, a sculpture or perhaps an installation piece. Sometimes experimentation and exploration can reinforce a chosen path, but discovering something new or unique can inspire, surprise, or even change us, in unexpected ways. When taking a step back it can help to ask yourself a few key questions about your collection, and whether it might benefit from increased strength, depth or diversity.
Strength - core pieces to centre your collection
A strong and centred collection will generally be built on a solid foundation. Often this will be a piece from a recognised artist, perhaps with some historical or cultural significance such as an L.S Lowry or Andy Warhol. A piece like this will make a powerful statement of intent and whatever else you choose to add to the collection, these are the core works that ensure the strength of the collection, and give it gravitas and longevity.
Depth - Explore a variety of mediums
It is always worth challenging yourself to look at art you may never have previously considered. Tempting though it may be to play it safe and stay with what you know, it can be genuinely exciting to explore uncharted waters in order to add depth to your collection and richness to your own knowledge and enjoyment of it. Experimental art, installations or objets d’art can all bring a layer of drama, depth and excitement to a collection, or introduce an element of playfulness. They don’t always demand a huge space and often work well together; a neon mirror installation from Mr. Brainwash can sit opposite a set of striking black and white photography from Nick Veasey or Harry Skeggs.
Enter the third dimension
Three dimensional artwork whether a small ceramic, a pure bronze figure to stand in a hallway, or a larger than life surrealist sculpture for an outside space, will introduce variety as well as adding literal depth, to your collection. With such a wealth of work on offer sculpture is expanding to embrace a far wider brief with contemporary creatives such as Debra Franses whose luxurious ‘artbags’ have been described as pop art sculpture for the digital age.
Keep your options open
If you are unable to track down an original painting from a particular artist it may be worth considering a different route in to their oeuvre. Never underestimate a drawing as encapsulated within a sketch or study, is often the genesis of a larger work, and can provide a very different and fascinating take on an artist’s thought process. A limited edition can also be an interesting option: defined by their authenticity, exclusivity and quality, editions have been released by artists from Picasso to The Connor Brothers, using cutting-edge techniques to faithfully represent the true vibrant colours and superb detail. Hand-signed and numbered, they come with a certificate of authenticity and can add a new level of possibility to how you collect.
Support emerging talents
As an art collector you are forging your own place in the art world as well as helping others to forge theirs by putting your trust in their work. This symbiosis is one of the great joys of collecting art, particularly in relation to buying work from an unknown or new artistic voice. As well as enriching your own collection it gives you the satisfaction of knowing that you are supporting the next generation of artists and ensuring that art continues to evolve and flourish. When young British artist Tim Fowler painted 100 images of skulls live in a gallery space, he attracted so much attention that at the end of the project he sold every painting within two hours. Tim is now making an impact in galleries across Europe and the USA, and those who bought his earliest work are experiencing the deep pleasure of watching him grow and evolve as an artist.
The landscape of the art world ranges far and wide, and to limit a collection in terms of genre denies some of the key challenges and rewards on offer to a collector. From impressionism to abstraction to pop art and street art, the emergence of new trends and movements has always been central to the world of art and the critics and collectors who supported them have reaped the rewards of their open minded attitude. In the 21st century, graffiti and street art for instance are holding their own in galleries around the world, jostling with landscapes, still life and abstracts to take collections into a wealth of new directions. For a collector in 2022 there is an extraordinary variety of art to discover and taking an eclectic approach will not only offer diversity for your collection, but will also ensure that your personal collecting experience remains fresh, fascinating and enjoyable.
“Tell me what you collect, tell me how you collect, and I will tell you who you are.”
(Jean Mestach, artist)