In Depth

How to invest in the art stars of the future

Expert Ryan Stanier explains how to spot the new names whose work may go on to soar in value

The world is full of art lovers, but few would perhaps see themselves as potential collectors. The difference, however, lies in simply knowing what to buy, and when. As the number of people buying art around the world is at an all-time high, most of us would probably love to rewind the clock and support one of the art world’s biggest stars before they made it big. But the opportunity to invest in rising stars is, of course, there for the taking.

Buying work by emerging artists is an excellent way to begin investing in art, and a smart way to build a collection. Supporting an artist in the early stage of his or her career is not only personally rewarding, but also offers collectors access to high-quality, original contemporary artwork without a hefty price tag. Collectors want to discover an emerging art star and secure works with the potential to rise in value. Exploring work by an emerging artist gives more flexibility in terms of availability and price.

The wealth of knowledge available through online resources such as Saatchi Art, and the vast range of exhibitions and art shows you can attend or be invited to through a simple click of a button, means anyone can quickly become confident and knowledgeable about the art in which they want to invest. It is not uncommon to see today’s most savvy art buyers using platforms such as Instagram as a tool to spot the next big thing.

In identifying new artists, it is always good to take the time to see who is making waves and is motivated to succeed. This might mean taking an active approach to following an artist’s progress or career, either through exhibitions or online. In the end it all comes down to savvy research.

We were lucky enough to welcome Camille Walala to our fair last year; she was on the brink of something huge and it has been astonishing to see how her career has exploded during the subsequent 12 months. Her incredible installation at London’s Liverpool Street was arguably one of the most talked about and photographed works at this year’s London Design Festival and her star is now firmly in the ascendency.

Ernesto Canovas is a Spanish artist who only two years ago was selling his works at The Other Art Fair for £1,200. He was signed by a gallery and recently had a sell-out show in Mayfair where his paintings started at £20,000. There are so many artists of this calibre and at this juncture in their career out there exhibiting now, and so many exciting opportunities to get in early and make a shrewd investment. 

Many new art collectors will often ask what is the ‘right choice’ when it comes to investing in art stars in the future, especially if they are torn between a range of fantastic emerging artists. In this regard it is good to think about your personal viewpoint on an art piece or artist style, and find something that truly resonates with you. Though artworks often retain their asset value, it's worth remembering investment in an artist never comes with a money-back guarantee, so it's important to find work you really love.

RYAN STANIER is founder and general manager of The Other Art Fair, the UK's leading fair for buying direct from emerging artists. Presented by Saatchi Art, it holds a bi-annual fair in London and events in Bristol, Sydney, Melbourne and New York, with further international fairs planned for 2018. The latest London edition will present multimedia works from 130 contemporary artists chosen by an expert committee, with Saatchi Art's advisory service on hand to provide free consultancy to collectors. 5-8 October, Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London E16QR; theotherartfair.com

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