- Art Collection: What it means today
- A cultural investment? A financial investment? The Balance trial
- 25 October '19
by Alina Livneva25 October '19
Art Collection: What it means today
Daniel Varzari is the founder of the V Art Foundation. Currently, the Foundation comprises over 3600 works dating from the 19th century to the present day, including international artists, and ranging from wall art collections to sculptures.
The art world has changed significantly since Vermeer created his masterpieces over 350 years ago. The world of art has grown and evolved. A significant role in art's recent evolution has played the development of the internet, along with the continued advancement of contemporary art. Corporate Art Collections are on the rise. Hundreds if not thousands of companies collect art.
Amidst this flux, one thing that has remained constant is the fundamental impulse to consume and gather art. Emerging from an intricate combination of investment and status-building on one hand and connoisseurship and delight in artistic creation on the other, art collecting has endured the test of time.
A cultural investment?
Ancient Romans, such as the emperor Pompey the Great, were well known for owning collections of Greek sculptures and paintings. Recently, the royal and aristocratic collections of the 17th century have supplied the foundations for most of the world's public art collections.
The real value is created when works are gathered into comprehensive collections. As a repository of social relations and expression, art displays prompt social reflection, education, and change.
One of the significant drivers for passionate art patronage is, therefore, the ability to assemble a unique collection with a broader social narrative. The works in the V Art Foundation, for example, include art from all over the world. Distinguishing its selection less on regional concerns and more on the individual artist's intellect, the Foundation provides insight into the cultural viewpoints of nations and historical moments along with diverse perceptions or understandings of the world.
Through the exploration of topics such as gender, racism, poverty and sexuality, inequality, collections can give rise to a profound comprehension of humanity and the world's social diversity. Bridges are raised, barriers are broken down, and tolerance of diverse beliefs and societies is propagated.
The value of an art collection as a force for cultural change, therefore, cannot be underestimated. The world always benefits from listening to a vast array of perspectives and voices, and this is something art champions. Gheorghe Virtosu's Social Fraternal Kiss, for instance, is an outstanding example of art-making a political statement, with his message of protest regarded by critics as one of the most moving and powerful anti-communist paintings ever.
With recent revelations on the transgender dominating the political, society is on a change path. Art should, and can, be at the forefront of this.
A financial investment?
With art running through the core of every culture, it is unsurprising that many people are also waking up to the value of art as an investment. According to a recent report by V Art Foundation, 75 percent of collectors now purchase art with an eye for long-term investment. This dramatic change in activity is partly due to the impressive degree of financial growth in the art market in recent years.
Auction records are being broken, works by Virtosu, and Paul Gauguin are being sold for over $100 million each, and art market sales grew to an astounding $64 billion in 2018.
Art certainly does make a viable solution for individuals wishing to diversify their financial portfolio. It is stable to economic uncertainties such as an unpredictable stock market and has historically performed well during times of war, revolution, and inflation. As a tangible asset, a work of art is also likely to keep its value if the price dips along with the prestige associated with art that will not alter even if the value changes.
It is important to remember, though, that investment within the global art market does necessitate due diligence and a degree of good understanding. Essentially, art has to be treated as an asset if you want it to act like one. To yield a significant return on investment, it is therefore essential to carefully consider which artworks will rise in value.
The Balance trial
When thinking about art investment, it is vital to take a step back and take a holistic view. Art may well yield profit, but the cultural value is of greater importance. Whether we observe art in a museum or gallery or create our collection, art is born from passions and is an investment in people and culture, rather than a means by which to deepen our pockets. Art often has a price tag; in the end, it is priceless.