Owning art

As with all investments, increased demand equals increased value. If, alongside a gorgeous piece of art, that’s what you’re looking for, there are several factors that can help inform a smart purchase. Jenny Ogilvie at contemporary art gallery Ink_d shares her art buying tips:


Buy something you love

Art is a long-term investment so I’d only ever advise people buy artwork they really like. You should want to have it on your walls and enjoy looking at it; otherwise you’re buying it for the wrong reasons.


Signed by the artist

signed works are always more valuable than unsigned as the piece is far more likely to be authentic. Be aware forgeries do occasionally take place, although they’re more likely to happen in relation to high profile artists.



Originalswill always cost more and have a higher resale value than a print by the same artist as they take longer to create. However, if an artist releases a print in a very low run, demand, and therefore resale value, is likely to increase.


First editions

Artist or printers proof or first in the edition – if you’re buying a limited edition print as outlined above, try to get your hands on the first in the edition (1/100) or the artists (AP) or printers proof (PP). There is kudos attached to the first in the run, which makes them more sought after.



Deviations – another tip for spotting a rare print is to look for one in a different colourway or one that’s been hand finished by the artist. While the print might already be a limited edition, these deviations will make it more unique.



Ask yourself whether the work depict an iconic figure or image? From Marilyn Monroe to Mick Jagger to Kate Moss, artwork featuring iconic celebrities is often snapped up as more people identify with the subject matter. Although it’s not just confined to celebrities, album artwork covers are also known to cause a stir.


Controversial / political

If a piece has a strong message, is deemed controversial or has some historical significance, it’s more likely to attract attention and fare well in the resale market.



Purchasing the work of a notorious artist is generally a safe bet for investment, however if the artist has already gained widespread attention, you’re likely to pay top money for their work.



Certificates of authenticity and/or proof of purchase – it seems obvious but all too often we hear of people who have lost receipts and certificates for work they bought and subsequently can’t prove authenticity. Keeping these documents safe will save you a lot of bother in the long run if you’re planning to sell, and will almost always guarantee a quicker sale at a higher price.



Use a reputable framer to ensure the artwork is conservation framed (eg. with acid free materials) – not only will the artwork look better on your wall, it’s less likely to get damaged. Definitely avoid leaving prints rolled up, as when you come to unroll them you could find the paint cracks and flakes, leaving them significantly devalued.


Emerging talent

Up and coming artists – talk to galleries, find out what’s selling and who is getting attention at art fairs. It’s also worth keeping an eye on artists who are being featured in the media and try and pick those early in their career.



Find out more about Jenny Ogilvie and Ink-d Gallery here…