Flamingo Pose

The Real Lesson Of Art Investing


Art is a little understood investment. The act of purchasing art is an investment in time, money, and energy.  The news is always full of multi-million dollar paintings being bought and sold at unreal prices.  Art is also a favorite play toy investment of the wealthy.  After all, not everyone can afford to hang a Picasso in their home.

Of course there is always the lucky few like Jinty Stephenson who bought the painting Boys with New Ties by Sir Peter Blake back in 1950’s for about $45. That painting is now worth about $534,000.

That’s a great return on a monetary investment. Some critics  say that there was no possible way that she knew she would own such an expensive masterpiece.   This is true. For instance take our work Flamingo Pose.  I don’t know if this work will be famous in 30 years.  No one does.

But this concept works the same for all investments. Who wouldn’t wish they had invested in IBM in the 70’s, or even Microsoft when they got started.

Truly, every once in while an investment pays huge dividends. But, that is not what she was thinking when she bought the painting. No, she was thinking how much she wanted the painting because she liked it. It brought enjoyment.  That work of art spoke to her in a way that others in the gallery did not. She enjoyed that work and visualized it hanging in her house.  Indeed, in Artnet she says:

“It’s given me enormous pleasure over the years, and has always had pride of place wherever I’ve lived.”

That is the real lesson on art being an investment. That enjoyment is the real return on your investment.  Art exists to entertain and even to educate. You purchase a piece because you like the piece.  If you don’t purchase pieces you like, then you are not investing in art wisely.

Flamingo Pose
Flamingo Pose.  Could this be the next big thing?

If I’m in a gallery and I see a work of art I love, I don’t worry about what it is worth in 20 years, just where I’m going to put it when I get home.   Leave the magic of monetary gain to time and jealousy of your friend’s desire to own my work.

If my work continues gaining in value to an extreme amount of money over the years that you enjoy it on your wall then so much the better.  Regardless, you enjoyed it and that was the real investment.

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