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Art as an investment

Posted by Mark Schneider on February 28, 2012 0 Comments

Obviously, there is alot of uncertainty in the economy, and in general, many collectors are more cautious, and less active than usual. Many areas of our gallery trade are being affected by this. We are doing a fairly brisk business in Asian art right now (having become a bit of a sub specialty), with international collectors, via the internet. This helps, as the economy is so much stronger in Asia, Australia, and parts of Europe. 

Having said that, the strongest area of our gallery trade, in the past year, has been in Tamayo print work, with collectors here in the U.S, and abroad. It seems, many of the collectors who have been acquiring this work feel that it is a good hedge against all the uncertainty out there, and certainly a good investment. I keep hearing that over and over from a fairly wide swath of collectors, from all walks of life. The general sentiment seems to be that if I can get the right Tamayo print, at the right price, in very good condition, and very nicely framed, from a gallery who really stands behind their work, it is a good place to put some cash. 

Excellent prints by Tamayo represent a blue chip investment. They will more than likely appreciate dramatically over time. One of Tamayo's paintings entitled "Trovador", which was done in 1945, recently set a record for the highest price ever paid at auction, for a Latin American painting, at the Christies sale on May 28th, 2008, when it sold for $7,209.000.00.

Of course, there are other areas that are attractive. In general, excellent print work by the top Latin Masters, at the right price, represent a secure investment, with the potential for good appreciation. I am specifically referring to artists such as Wifredo Lam, Roberto Matta, Francisco Toledo, Rufino Tamayo, Fernando De Szyszlo, Leonora Carrington, Gunther Gerzso, and a few others. Also, some of the well established contemporary artists are also appealing, as the ratio between the quality of the work, and the current market value makes their work very attractive. Specifically the print work of Baruj Salinas and Ramon Alejandro come to mind.

Lastly, good quality original works by the top Masters, is always an appealing possibility, with potentially tremendous appreciation potential. Of course provenance, authentication, and other variables have to be taken into account.

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