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Institutul de Management al Artei Artmark

The Art Management Institute, the research, statistics and education division of the Artmark Group, is known in the public space not only for organizing courses on art and the art market, but also for its regular reports monitoring the state of the Romanian art market.

ADVANTAGES OF INVESTING IN ART

Increased accessibility
  • The minimum amount needed to start an art investment is in the low hundreds of euros
  • There are no market entry restrictions, such as: authorizations, master agency agreements, trading platforms
Average liquidity
  • There are multiple channels for selling a work of art, each with a different degree of liquidity and performance, and the time to completion can vary from a few hours to several months
  • Transaction costs are average, usually negotiable
  • Documentation accompanying transactions is minimal, limited in principle to a legal covering sale certificat
Minimum administration costs
  • The management of the works during the investment period usually consists of: the cost of storage or display (negligible if the investor chooses to revel in their aesthetic value by displaying them in their own premises) and the cost of insurance, if the owner chooses to insure them, strictly in relation to the value invested
  • Kept in proper conservation conditions, works of art require no periodic restoration or cleaning (even on a long-term basis)
Low correlation with other investments
  • Artwork is a "safe haven asset" whose minimal correlation with traditional investments recommends it as a safe investment in times of economic uncertainty
  • A tangible asset with a functioning trading market, artwork provides protection against inflation and is a safe way to preserve value
  • Real asset and "emotional investment", the work of art has an intrinsic value given by the uniqueness / rarity of the object and its objectively recognized aesthetic value
Medium to long investment horizon
  • Art is a medium to long-term investment, with variations in the speed of asset appreciation depending on the type of art targeted
  • As a rule, in a mature art market, contemporary art needs a shorter investment term, while heritage art appreciates gradually; in an emerging market, however, heritage art, starting from low prices, can appreciate at the same pace as contemporary art.
  • The investment horizon aims at the market appreciation of the artwork by: the promotion of the artist / style / period / theme in question, the rarity of the work through the end of the artist's creative process / the absorption of important works in museums or their closure in private collections, or the increase in market demand due to the increase in the number of art collectors and investors
Low investment risk
  • The art market in Romania is at an emerging stage, having experienced continuous growth and a sustained rate of appreciation since 1990, especially since the 2000s.
  • Works of art tend to appreciate in value in the medium and long term, with variations in expected returns occurring mainly between styles and periods of creation, heritage works are usually considered the safest, while young contemporary art has a more pronounced investment risk.
  • Average difficulty of intermediate performance measurement
  • The current market value of the investment can be estimated by: comparison with similar transactions in the market or the opinion of an authorized appraiser
Average difficulty of intermediate performance measurement
  • The current market value of the investment can be estimated by: comparison with similar transactions in the market or the opinion of an authorized appraiser

HOW TO START COLLECTING ART

What does it mean collecting art?
  • The art collector is differentiated from the casual buyer by a long-standing desire and practice to surround himself with artistic objects that define his taste and personality, as well as by the parallel action of accumulating cultural information - the support of his preoccupation with art and the objects that embody it
  • The art collection is kept alive by the permanent link between the collector and his works, a link that does not fade over time, the artistic product is never "fully consumed", but on the contrary, this link tends to deepen with time, as works of art are gradually understood, always offering new interpretations and relationships, with the collector's journey of deepening the work, life and creative circumstances of the artist, as well as the different artistic trends and environments
  • Thus, although often considered to be a luxury product, the work of art differs from most products in this class in that it describes an increasing marginal utility curve, in which additional consumption increases the pleasure felt by the consumer and protects him from the risk of saturation; the satisfaction felt after the purchase of the object of art exceeds the initial desire to purchase, whereas with most luxury products, the pleasure decreases when the desire is fulfilled
  • In addition to the individual satisfaction that the art collector feels in relation to his works, collecting also has a social side, the association with the artistic / cultural product having the capacity to positively complete a public image of the collector and to bring him permanent public appreciation in the consciousness of his community, an effect that cannot be achieved merely through the accumulation of wealth in general.
  • At the same time, reputable collectors have the ability to influence the art market, increase the search for and share of artists, and their actions are followed and reiterated by many "follower" collectors; especially in an art market where museum collections often remain frozen due to lack of acquisition funds in times of crisis, reputable collectors have taken on the role of trendsetters and demand shapers
  • In addition to private collectors, corporate collections have developed, functioning as a factor of public image and positioning of the corporation, incentive and education for employees, as well as a useful store of value.
Author Collection
  • Less common, it is a collection focused exclusively or almost exclusively on works by the same author or artistic family (there are, for example, in Bucharest collections focused on the works of Baba or those of Schweitzer-Cumpăna or those of Tia Peltz); it does not necessarily focus on a particular artistic technique, as a rule it mixes various techniques in which the collected artist was involved (drawing, engraving, painting, etc.).
  • It is, as a rule, a collector's collection with personality, who believes strongly in the importance and destiny of an artist, less often an investment strategy, whose distinctive feature is the portfolio mix
  • It can frequently be, by force of circumstance, the name given to the succession of studio production remaining in the artist's family, which keeps it for a mix of reasons, ranging from emotional and collecting concerns to financial management.
Trend / period / technique collection
  • Frequently encountered, representing a light option, which leaves the collector enough freedom of movement to actively concern himself, with a collecting regularity, with the building of his collection, the collection having the prerequisites to build and develop quickly
  • It is usually the first type of collection accessible and allows various reorientations, which are achieved by successive collection pruning (selling parts that become unrepresentative for the current collection orientation).
  • E.g.: Baia Mare School, contemporary art, engraving and drawing, artists from Iasi, avant-garde, etc.
Collection of representative works
  • The collection dedicated to museum works, considered by senior collectors as the most respectable of the collections, is the type of collection reached through the longest and most dedicated work, consisting in collecting only those works of the great heritage artists that are representative for their creation and for the history of Romanian arts.
  • Such works being also the most coveted by collectors, they are accessed over time, with patience, the collection being completed in a lifetime, at the same time, being among the most important works of famous artists, their collection requires financial sacrifices.
  • As a rule, the collection is built in cycles, when the collector identifies a work by one of the relevant artists, having the same theme as an existing work in the collection, but more important than it, he buys the new one and sells the redundant one.
  • Some of these collections have a museum future, either being donated by collectors to important museums, or opening as private collections of public utility, becoming viewable after a limited program
  • When such works or, more rarely, entire collections reach the art market, putting them up for sale is a real event.
Collection of discoveries / emerging artists
  • Focus on artistically and financially unrepresentative but story-driven works, unrepresentative works or works in minor techniques by important artists, or good quality works by rarely known or as yet unreleased artists
  • It is specific to the beginner collector, too little oriented or with few resourcese
  • It is open to evolution to higher forms of collecting as the collector accumulates confidence, experience or resources
Portfolio collection / collection mix
  • Specific to the investor, who chooses the investment mix in order to dilute the liquidity and market price trend risk specific to collections focused on a limited range of artists, but also with the aim of optimizing return performance when liquidating the portfolio
  • However, it can also be found in practice in the encyclopaedic collector, with a broad taste, who uses varied / multiple criteria when putting together a collection or pure aestheticism - he buys only what he likes and values diversity.

ART MARKET PITFALLS

That's right, counterfeits in the art market are by no means few and far between, just as counterfeits are present in every other commodity market, from consumer products and services to elite, sophisticated ones. The amount of forgery in the art market increases as the financial stakes increase, i.e. as the market value of some of the artists increases, but this does not turn the art market into a market of the informed that excludes the uninformed from trading, any more than playing the stock market requires a university degree in economics, but reading audited reports or seeking expert advice.

The safest purchase
  • The purchase is carried out through an authorized purchasing channel, which issues a written guarantee of authenticity without time limit
  • Such a channel is usually an auction house or an authorized gallery, which, beyond the more or less coherent organization of the commercial approach, have the obligation to filter professionalism, consisting in contracting at least one "specialist adviser", having the capacity of expert certified by the Ministry of Culture, who verifies the quality of the objects received on consignment and put up for sale, having the obligation to refer to the Ministry of Culture the sale of objects likely to be classified in the categories of national movable cultural heritage.
  • Auction houses do not usually limit themselves to one specialist advisor and have a permanent committee made up of several experts certified by the Ministry of Culture, depending on the diversity of objects offered for sale by the house, and sometimes this formula is maximized by contracting, by some auction houses and some heritage galleries, a number of expert consultants, each specializing in an important author or artistic movement.
  • When a renowned and traditional auction house or heritage gallery guarantees authenticity by a written document, the level of security in the purchase is among the highest
  • The written act of guarantee of authenticity, without time limit, may be a certificate of guarantee of authenticity (without time limit), signed by a representative of the house or gallery, including a certificate of sale (the documentary instrument of sale to which the law on the circulation of movable cultural property obliges), containing a clause guaranteeing authenticity without time limit
  • Do not confuse the act of guaranteeing authenticity with the situation where the auction house or gallery does not guarantee authenticity (or guarantees it for a very short period, such as a period similar to the payment period), but adds the sale documentation (invoice, whether or not accompanied by the certificate of sale, without a clause guaranteeing authenticity) an expert's certificate or report issued by an expert certified by the Ministry of Culture - in which case, if the object is not authentic, only the natural person issuing the certificate / report is financially liable, and not the auction house or the selling gallery.
Purchase with limited level of safety
  • The purchase is made through an authorized purchasing channel, such as an authorized auction house or gallery, which uses the input of the "specialist adviser", i.e. experts certified by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, in the process of putting up for sale, but does not guarantee authenticity, expressly and without time limit
  • This generic case, most common among auction houses and heritage art galleries, requires a certificate of sale (a document required by the law on the circulation of movable cultural property, summarizing the parties to the sale and describing the object of the sale)
  • Sometimes the rules of the auction houses provide for the guarantee of authenticity for a very short period, between 2 weeks and one month calculated from the date of the auction (and not from the date of payment by the buyer), which is practically the deadline by which the trader has to pay the depositor of the goods sold (this deadline coincides, in its short version, with the deadline by which the buyer has to pay the auctioned object), so in practice the auction house does not take responsibility for the quality of the object auctioned, paid and taken over by the buyer.
  • Sometimes the auction house or heritage gallery, although not personally guaranteeing authenticity, attaches to the sale an expert's certificate or report issued by an expert certified by the Ministry of Culture - in which case, if the object is not authentic, only the financial liability of the expert natural person issuing the certificate / report is incurred
Unsafe purchase
  • The purchase is made from an unauthorized seller, who does not guarantee in writing the authenticity of the object sold, as a rule, with small exceptions is the situation of the heritage dealer without a gallery or shop, but also the situation of the purchase from an antique fair (bric-a-brac, flea market, etc.).
  • Although it is not uncommon for these dealers to be extremely experienced and competent, they are practically unauthorized and unregistered for tax purposes and cannot guarantee in writing the authenticity of the items sold.
  • There is also the variation where, for important lots, they provide the buyer with an expert's certificate / report issued by an expert certified by the Ministry of Culture with whom the dealers collaborate, but this only entails the financial liability of the expert, not that of the selling dealer.
  • It is no less true that sometimes, although unauthorized and unregistered, established dealers end up enjoying good professional reputations, which they are keen to maintain by promptly returning the money of the buyer who claims, relying on the written or verbal opinion of a specialized expert, that the object purchased is not original.
  • In this situation a compromise solution would be to contact a specialized expert to analyse the object and issue a certificate / expert report / authenticity report.

The establishment of the falsehood of an object can be done by:

  • An expert's certificate / report issued by an accredited expert specializing in the author of the item / relevant artistic trend
  • Experts certified by the Ministry of Culture are listed at: Register of Experts for Mobile National Cultural Heritage
  • Contacting AEEAR - Association of Art Experts and Appraisers in Romania, to assign the expertise work to an expert specializing in the author of the item / relevant artistic trend, who will issue an expert certificate / report

The most representative remedies in case you purchased a counterfeit item:

  • Contact AEEAR - Association of Art Experts and Appraisers in Romania, to further refer the matter to the competent investigative body
  • Direct complaint to the Criminal Investigation Directorate of the General Inspectorate of Police whose contact details can be found at the Criminal Investigation Directorate