From the authenticity of an art piece, to who the person is that actually put it together - there are a few things to consider before buying art.
Investec bank recently held its art fair in Cape Town and shared with consumers top tips for buying or investing in art.
Here is what you need to know:
1. Be certain of its authenticity
The value of an artwork is linked to its authenticity, according to Investec. "A certificate of authenticity, proving the piece is an original, is one of the most important details to consider when purchasing art."
An artwork signed by the artist also adds to its authenticity. Keep the gallery sticker on the artwork as it is further evidence of the art's authenticity, Investec advises.
"Always keep sales receipts or even photographs you may have taken of the artist in their studio with the piece you are buying."
2. Time is of the essence
It could take hours to work through a gallery or fair – so it is important to do research ahead of exhibitions or art fairs. Grow and build relationships with dealers. "Serious collectors get to view an artist's collection before it opens to the public."
3. Meet the artist
Meet the artist to get a better understanding of where an artwork comes from and who is responsible for creating it, Investec says. This exercise builds trust and adds value to your experience of a particular artwork.
4. Don't just be lured by a name
Names are not everything – a piece may have a big name to it but this does not guarantee a high resale value. Artists experiment a lot, so choose from their body of work. "You want the glorious end product, not the first attempt."
5. Watch out for theft
Theft in the art world is a reality, Investec warned. Art registries exist to protect consumers from purchasing stolen work, so always check the registry before purchasing, especially if not going through a reputable dealer. Insure any pieces bought.
One of the artworks dislayed at the Investec Cape Town Art Fair. (Supplied).
Once you have a piece, frame it to preserve and keep it in a good condition. This will help ensure a profitable resale. Keep art away from heat or smoke as it can affect the condition and value, Investec advised. "Sun damage will seriously bring down the value of your art."
It is also acceptable to restore a damaged piece. "Consult with a reputable restorer and gallery for advice. Restoration certificates should be preserved alongside the work in order to retain value."