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The basics of buying art

Before you dive into the world of collecting art, read on to learn what to know and where to go.

There comes a time in everyone's life when buying prints at mass market stores just doesn't cut it anymore. Sure, they may look nice, but your heart will sink when you see the same print on three of your friends' walls, too.

Starting an art collection may seem like an expensive and daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. Whether you have a goal of something you want to save for (a Picasso sketch, for example) or are interested in buying an up-and-coming artist's work, there are many ways that you can start a fab art collection in your own home. Here are a few basics on what to keep in mind when purchasing fine art.

Do your research

The global art market is massive, and in 2009 took in €31.3 billion, according to art economist Dr. Clare McAndrew. So when you're investing your money into the market, you want to make sure you know the piece you're buying is worth what you're paying for it.

One of the most important things about buying art is investing in a piece that visually appeals to you -- there's no point in buying a work that doesn't make you happy every time you look at it. That being said, investing in a piece means buying something of value (you don't want to pay $5000 for a painting only to realize down the road that it's worth $300).

Do your research by getting to know who the trusted art dealers are that sell works in your price range. The Art Dealers Association of Canada can give you information on dealers and galleries in your area as well as offer appraisals and also advice on Fair Market Value (meaning the highest price that a piece would bring in at a public sale).

Subscribing to magazines like Apollo (an international magazine for collectors) is also a great way to keep up to date on recent sales and happenings in the art community. These magazines often have members-only website access to dealer directories and up-to-the-minute news on the market.


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