Fossicking for Profitable Art – artmarketblog.com
Definition of Fossick:
English dialect fossick to ferret out
1.Australian & New Zealand : to search for gold or gemstones typically by picking over abandoned workings
2. chiefly Australian & New Zealand : to search about : rummage
Australian & New Zealand : to search for by or as if by rummaging : ferret out
With all the current art market action I am often tempted to jump on the same bandwagon as all the major news reporters and report the results of the various sales and fairs that attract so much attention. That is, until I do a search of the news and come across 80 odd articles reporting the same thing after which I am no longer tempted to conform to the mass media and am encouraged to continue along a more alternative path.
Having got that off my chest I will now get on with today’s topic that comes from a very recent experience I had while looking at some online galleries for an artwork to invest in. My method of choice for deciding on an artwork to invest in follows the following series of steps:
1. Decide on what medium I want to invest in (painting, print, photography etc.)
2. Decide on a price range
3. Find an online gallery that stocks works of art in my chosen medium and price range
4. Go through the works on offer and begin researching the artists and their career history to ascertain investment potential
The only things I did differently on this particular occasion was to have a look at the back catalogue of works that the website had for sale. Most galleries that sell works online will release one work say every month or so and will often have unsold works in a back catalogue, especially if the work was a limited edition print or a limited edition photograph. While looking through the back catalogue I began doing some research on some of the artist’s whose limited edition prints that were for sale had originally been launched in 2006. For some reason people seem to assume that because an artwork is still in the inventory after a couple of years that it is not a desirable artwork but you never know what the artist has done since producing that artwork.
One particular artist that I researched had gained significant international attention, been on television and been touted as the next big thing all in the 3 year time period between the artist’s print being offered for sale on this particular website and me visiting the website and researching the artist. I immediately purchased one of these prints for the small sum of $400 which in reality is probably now worth 5 times that meaning that I made a 500% profit in a matter of seconds. The moral of the story is: It pays to check the back catalogue of an online gallery because you never know what you will find.
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.