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Tips for young art collectors in the digital era

Building a gratifying art collection. Picture: Unsplash

Building a gratifying art collection. Picture: Unsplash

Published May 30, 2022


Collecting artwork has evolved – it has changed in format, resources, means, accessibility and perspective, but its essence survives through the test of time.

Art is now influenced by the digital era. Art collection earlier was considered a virtue of mature age but more millennials are taking up art collection seriously.

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Collecting art is as much a passion as a study, it is seen as an investment but it is a more personally rewarding pursuit.

The journey from an art enthusiast and appreciator to a collector requires study, patience and perseverance. Especially in this demographic defying dynamic digital era, one needs to know what one wants from the rich and diverse world of art.

Nelson Makamo’s US solo exhibition titled ‘Blue’. Picture: Supplied

To become an art collector, one needs to deep dive into the subject to study, analyse, understand and decode the world of art. There are various platforms including genres, schools of thought, artists, categories, to explore then identify one’s core interest area.

There are a few golden guiding rules one must follow to have a rewarding and gratifying art collection journey, says Roop Partap Choudhary, internationally acclaimed art collector and executive director, Noor Mahal and Jewel Group of Hotels.

Research and explore

Installation shot of ‘Islamic Art – An African Interpretation’, on exhibition at the Iziko Bo-Kaap Museum, 2022. picture: Nigel Pamplin

The more one knows about the fascinating depths of art and the artist, the more satisfying it will make the journey to acquiring the artwork. Investing time in researching and exploring opens doors to newer possibilities and newer avenues. It updates one with knowledge of the latest means and routes to exciting riches.

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The digital era has made gathering information easy but it is also important to know how to get the most trustworthy information. It is easy to explore and connect digitally and also make purchases online by bypassing geographical boundaries.

Find your fondness

Art is a wide canvas and one needs to know what one wants to pursue. What inspires and what does one aspire for. Some choose heritage-inspired rare art, while some are motivated by contemporary art. Some find their pleasure in paintings while some find their attraction in digital art. There is a lot out there and enabled by digital resources one can find your interest.

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Putting Drawings to Work is a major exhibition by internationally acclaimed artist, William Kentridge. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency(ANA)

Design a strategy

Building an art collection is not about spontaneity, it requires planning and strategising. Once you know what you desire from your art collection it is important to make sure you steer in the right direction. A strategy helps you plan ahead, ensures progress and helps you stay on the path of building gradually.

Networking is an art

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The art world is fascinatingly complicated, finding the right things for your collection can prove to be almost like a treasure hunt. It is both helpful and effective to connect with the right people who can assist you in your journey of building a beautiful and meaningful collection, especially like-minded people who know the world of art.

Assurance of authenticity

With the boom in the digital world and the increasing role of digitisation in the world of art acquisition, there is an increasing threat of frauds trying to dupe young art collectors. Beware of cheaters and make sure that you deal with only authorised and authentic people.

There is no short-cut to connoisseurship. It takes time, energy and money.

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