Investing in Art

A lot has been said about investing in Art, that it is a solid investment which will generate a profit one day, that it can enhance your social status, etc.
Assuming art is a good investment, in order for it to come to fruition you will have to be aware of several considerations when you make an artistic acquisition.. One of them is the quality of the artwork, i.e. the materials used by the artist. This is even more critical now when artworks are purchased online directly from various websites and various artists which may not offer any guarantee with respect to the longevity of the artwork.
The quality of the materials is paramount to ensure the survival of the artwork, as art objects can only increase in value if they physically survive the harsh test of time
In this article I will refer mainly to paintings and drawings.
If the colours of a water colour are fading away or if a pencil drawing is gradually disappearing it is not going to have any value after several years. Discoloration and the yellowing of the paper is the main enemy for such artworks and they should be always sprayed with fixative and framed under glass to preserve them. As for display, they should never be placed in direct sunlight or too close to a heat source.
Regarding oil paintings, there are many factors that can cause damage over the years to either the canvas or the colours. Improper storage, careless handling, poor quality of gesso used to prime the canvas, humidity or mould are just some. Restoring old paintings has been impossible in many cases where the canvas was crumbling damaged by mould, acidity or insects.
As a rule, oil paints tend to become darker over time. Factors that increase this risk are sunlight and heat which speed up the oxidation of the pigments. When an oil painting is stored in an inadequate environment such as a loft, drastic changes in temperature between night and day, winter/summer can cause cracking and flaking of the paint.
Acrylic is a new, resistant medium, and applied in thick layers colours will last a long time unaltered. Acrylic paint (when is not mixed with gouache) is also water proof after drying so paintings can be cleaned even with a damp cloth without causing damage. If the canvas used is of good quality and acid free, an acrylic painting can last a very long time, theoretically longer than an oil painting.
And a last tip, always purchase an artwork that you like, and it means something to you, as you will have to ‘live’ with it for many years. Its price may not always increase in time as you were hoping so its main value will be bringing you joy day after day.