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  • Katie Archer

An Insight Into Art Investments

Updated: May 3, 2021

In an uncertain market where Brexit means that property may not be a sure bet investment, a personal art collection could be a safe haven for your money.

Whether or not you know a great deal about art, there’s no denying that a significant benefit of investing in paintings, prints, and sculpture is that it offers a refined, impressive asset that you can enjoy far more than a property portfolio or stocks and shares.

Perhaps you’ve been thinking about putting some of your wealth into the art market, but are unsure where to begin – that’s where Fuse Concierge can assist, by putting you in touch with experienced, trusted art investor Vanita Barany.

Vanita is skilled at picking out investment pieces and helping to build cohesive collections, but she also makes the art world accessible by explaining how it works and where to put your money. Here, she tells us more about the exciting world she works in.

If a client is completely new to the art market, how do you introduce them to investing?

“I work with individuals who have an interest in art but are time poor or would love to begin a collection but don’t know where to start. I advise what to buy and where to find it.”

“In my initial meeting with a new client we start by talking about what they like, abstracts, pop art or landscapes ,sometimes they don’t know, in which case I begin with colour and I show them a few styles and they begin to pick out images of artworks they like and this is how we begin.”

“I usually encourage clients to buy a variety of works from different eras, that way it looks as if their collection has evolved over time.

Clients might begin by spending £5,000 per artwork or millions on a single painting but generally, the average is £10,000 to £100,000 per artwork.”

“Around 86% of art is bought as an investment, clients will come to me either because they don’t know much about art, or they don’t have the time to buy it themselves. I provide an end to end service from procuring the art to installation which suits the needs of asset rich and time poor clients.”

Where do you help clients to look for investments? Are some riskier than others?

“There are two tiers in the art market: The Primary and secondary market. The primary market is the most speculative, when one buys art directly from a new artist, or a studio that deals with the artist. There is no guarantee the artist will continue to create art of the same calibre, or become a reputable name in the art world. The most famous collector in this field is Charles Saatchi.

For the risk-averse, the secondary market is a much more comfortable place to buy. Art bought in the secondary market has a history and price index which helps to guide the buyer. There is a record of the prices that work by any particular artist has achieved.

Work in this category is bought from galleries and auction houses. Most of my clients prefer to invest in the secondary market for all types of art including contemporary works.”

Art is also subject to global markets and which genres are ‘fashionable’ at any one time. For example, Victorian paintings which were highly sought after forty years ago are quite out of favour today.

It is really important that the client really loves the art they buy, they will be looking at it every day.

Is there a minimum amount you would recommend paying for a piece you’re hoping will gain in value?

“It will depend on the style of art they like but the lower limit around £20,000 as an investment. Art as an investment should be seen in the long term, high gains generally come with high risk and high investment “.

Once an artist dies, assuming their work is good, then their work will rise in value, a simple case of supply and demand. A case in point is Jean Michel Basquiat an American contemporary artist who died at the age of 28, his work increases in value year on year.

What are the biggest factors affecting the art market at the moment?

“The Chinese have become strong buyers of art. Galleries are being built all over China and they want to acquire western art to include in their collections.”

Art now more than ever before is seen as part of an investment portfolio, Family offices, as well as individuals, are buying art for medium and long term investment.”

According to the FT, 8.3.2019 ‘Art sales globally grew 6% in 2017 not so much of a gain as last year where they were (up 12% ) but marking the market’s second year of consecutive growth despite a backdrop of economic uncertainty’.

Why do buyers need an art investor to advise them?

“The art market for most people is really intimidating and confusing. They hear on the news about paintings which are sold for hundreds of millions of pounds, that an unmade bed is considered to be a work of art and have read about the street artist Banksy whose framed painting called ‘Girl with a balloon’ spontaneously shredded and then was worth more because of it.

Walking into a gallery can be scary and having someone like me to show them what to look at, what they should pay, where it would work in their house is essential for the uninitiated. Once I know what each client likes, I filter the artworks they should see, making the experience pleasurable not overwhelming.

Is it a good time to invest in art?

“It’s always a good time to invest in art, whatever you buy can be hung in your house or sculptures installed and enjoyed.”

“I find once my clients begin collecting they really ‘get the bug’ and gain confidence in their eye and really enjoy the whole process."

If you are thinking of starting to curate your own art collection, get in touch with Fuse Concierge where our lifestyle managers can introduce you to Vanita and begin your love affair with art. +44 (0) 207 0784243 or

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