Steven Sulley – Founder of Woodbury House
Writings and drawings on the wall have been around almost as long as humans. From cave paintings to ancient Roman curse words scribbled on walls, street art has been accepted for millennia as a form of expression and communication, a way for ordinary people to make their lives, their problems and their interests known to the world.
Today we might associate street art with Banksy, KAWS and pieces that sell for millions at auction. While these names are firmly established as some of the most sought-after blue chip artists in the world, their popularity among collectors and dealers alike has also helped establish street art as a valid asset class for investors, opening up exciting opportunities in this area. upcoming market .
The rise of contemporary street art
What started simply as New York kids signing autographs on abandoned buildings and the subway evolved in the 1970s and 80s in a struggle to be noticed by bigger and better tags and would form the basis of many of the pioneering styles of street art that emerged. we see today.
The Golden Age of Street Art in 1980s New York produced some of the most well-known street performers in the world, with artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Richard Hambleton playing key roles in the movement. Their work is often credited with breaking down the barriers between street art and the visual arts, and their works now have prices that can easily run into the millions.
This gradual adoption of street art in mainstream art circles has opened up greater potential for those looking to invest in up-and-coming names within the scene.
Read the market
With Street Art’s Huge Investment Potential – The Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index Shows Art Value Has Grown 71% over the past 10 years – unsurprisingly, returns on investment consistently exceed expectations, and auction records are often broken.
Of course, if you want to invest in an artist, institutional recognition is a good indicator of success, but it’s also important to research their careers and get a sense of their track record. Researching works and shows they have previously completed and the price points at which their previous works have sold can indicate how the market is performing around a particular artist.
There are some key indicators to look out for when considering investing in a new artist or one you may not be familiar with. Do they provide consistency with shows, do they have shows in multiple locations and/or do they have high net worth individuals or brands present? Are the shows carefully curated to showcase their best works rather than throwing together everything they’ve ever made?
In addition to factors surrounding an artist’s shows, it’s important to consider price trends to get an idea of how the market is performing around a particular artist. Slow and steady increases in the price at which their works are sold is a strong indicator when seeking investment, and it is vital to ensure stability and congruence in the pricing of their works.
By considering these factors when researching a potential purchase, you can get the most out of your investment and avoid artists who could very well be “one-hit wonders” without a consistent track record when it comes to shows and Prices.
Affordability of Street Art
One of the most appealing aspects of investing in street art is its sheer affordability compared to many other movements. While there are, of course, many record-breaking auctions for established names in the movement, there are also plenty of investment opportunities for those on a more modest budget or perhaps wanting to start a collection.
Well-known artists often offer below-market value prints to make their work accessible to those on a tighter budget. This is also a starting point for those looking to add the work of highly sought-after blue-chip street artists to their investment portfolios.
Street art is still a relatively young movement and as such presents a constantly evolving scene where new artists and trends are constantly breaking through. This is a dream from an investment perspective, but while it offers many opportunities to diversify and expand your investment portfolio, it is important to conduct your research carefully.
Attending auctions, speaking to collectors and visiting galleries are excellent ways to gain additional insight into this rapidly changing scene so that you can feel comfortable with your investments.
The information provided here is not investment, tax or financial advice. You should consult a licensed professional for advice on your specific situation.
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