"You don't have to be Eli Broad. You, too, can collect art."

So concludes this interesting article by Robert Boyd about how you do not need to be rich to be an art collector. Boyd, a Houston resident and art lover, goes through how he came to acquire 16 pieces of original art over the past two months (jealous!), while spending a total of $3264 (an average of $204 per piece).

He gives a lot of tips throughout, which are not only helpful, but extremely applicable to collecting photography, especially by emerging artists (what we talk a lot about over here).  Here are four (the comments in parentheses are mine):

  • COLLECTING ON A BUDGET TIP #1: Buy directly from the artist. When you can avoid a middle-man, you save money. (This is applicable to artists who are not represented by a gallery and have the flexibility to sell directly.)
  • COLLECTING ON A BUDGET TIP #2: Works on paper are often less expensive than larger works. Drawings and water-colors can make accessible the work of an artist whose paintings, sculptures, installations, etc.,  might be out of reach. (Photography!)
  • COLLECTING ON A BUDGET TIP #3: Prints/multiples are cheaper than unique items, on average. And a lot of really good artists make limited edition prints. (Photographers!)
  • COLLECTING ON A BUDGET TIP #4: Buy art by young, emerging artists. Nothing against art by older artists, obviously. But the moreestablished an artist is, on average, the more expensive the work.

He also makes this great point, which I felt was worth pulling out:

"But if you want to buy work by artists who have established careers and who have major gallery representation and museum shows and monographs, etc., be prepared to pay a large premium for the privilege. Buying art early in someone's career is more of a "risk," but only if you look at it in terms of a financial investment. If you look at it in terms of acquiring art because you like it, you've taken on no risk at all."