BY CHRISTINE MINAS | OCTOBER 30, 2019
Since starting Christine Minas Fine Art in 2014, I have observed that there are certain common life moments when individuals seek art advisory services. Here are some of the most common situations in which someone might need professional advice when it comes to art, artists, and the art market:
1. You love art but don’t know where to begin.
With so many artists and galleries out there, it can be difficult to know where to start. Art advisors get to know their clients fairly quickly and are equipped with the knowledge and experience to determine which artists and styles they might like. They then suggest artworks that will fit their clients’ taste and budget.
Advisors know that clients’ most valuable resource is time. That’s why in addition to leveraging their expertise and professional network, a key component of an advisor’s value is doing the legwork for their clients. This work includes sourcing available work through galleries or online platforms, negotiating prices, and arranging framing, shipping, and installation. They also provide advice about prices in the context of an artist’s market—this helps with making decisions about whether to move forward with an acquisition or not. By working with an art advisor, an art buyer learns not only about the particular artwork in question but also about the benchmarks by which to make informed choices about art in the future.
In a world where anyone with enough money can have almost any luxury good, living with art can provide a truly authentic and personal experience. And contrary to most media stories, this experience is not only for those who have a fortune to spend.
Collecting art is one of the few times in our globalized life where one has the opportunity to live with unique (or rare, in the case of limited edition prints and photographs) objects. Ultimately, collecting art is a chance not only to engage with the self-expression of individual artists but also to engage in one’s own self-expression and personal development.
Good art advisors make their clients’ needs the priority, not only helping to determine their clients’ taste but also accompanying them on the journey to develop it. Buying art involves identifying and expanding your own personal taste, not hiring someone to give you an art collection that looks just like the neighbor’s across the hall (unless that is what you want).
2. You are moving into a new home or refreshing the look of your current home.
Nothing makes a greater impact on one’s living space than art that you connect with personally. As you imagine life in a new home there is a sense of endless possibility (coupled with the reality of one’s budget). An advisor can help you identify locations that might benefit from something new and determine the best locations for artworks you already own. Even without adding new acquisitions, simply having an expert reinstall your existing artworks can refresh the entire feel of your home.
3. You are going through a life transition such as the kids moving out, post-divorce or downsizing after retirement.
When I started Christine Minas Fine Art (CMFA) in 2014, my first client was a recently divorced woman who wanted to get rid of all the art she had bought with her ex-husband. She was ready to acquire new art for a new chapter of her life. It turns out that the story of my first client was not an anomaly. In the years that followed, a number of my clients have been people going through life transitions and embarking on new beginnings. From downsizing after kids move out to starting afresh after a break-up, art can play a big role in providing comfort, forging a new identity and getting you to think in fresh ways.
As someone who has spoken to collectors over the years and as a collector myself, I have learned that bringing art into one’s home is akin to being joined by new friends or family members. If chosen correctly, an artwork can provide a lasting and potentially transcendent experience. The key phrase here is “chosen correctly” because a lot of the flashiest art, the kind that grabs your attention at an art fair or floods your Instagram feed, is least likely to make for a durable, engaging experience. An art advisor can help you distinguish between an artwork that looks exciting for a moment and an artwork that has the potential to continue to reveal itself in new ways over the years. The opportunity to engage with art in one’s own home over the long term is the most profound return on investment on art ownership.
4. You inherited artwork that doesn’t fit with your current lifestyle or are making plans for your own estate.
I often hear from individuals who have inherited artworks that don’t match their current lifestyle or present an onerous burden to care for (due to conservation and insurance requirements, or other reasons). If you have inherited art that you no longer want, an advisor can manage the process of selling it for you. This includes determining the best avenue to sell the work—whether through private sale, consigning to a gallery or sale via auction—and dealing with all the steps that lead up to and follow the sale.
For collectors that know their children or other family members will not want or be able to take care of an art collection, an art advisor can work with the collector, their accountant, and their lawyer and/or family office to create a strategic plan for deaccessioning their collection and planning their legacy. From selling artworks to donating them to institutions, an advisor can offer direction on the multiple avenues available for dispersing fine art and objects.
If any of these life moments apply to you and you would like to speak with an experienced art advisor, get in touch with CMFA. To schedule a free consultation, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or +1.917.301.4237.