How to Start Your Own Art Collection, According to an Expert

We interviewed art collector and gallery owner Remigio David.

Altro Mondo Creative Space in Makati before the pandemic.
PHOTO BY Vincent Coscolluela archives (2019)

( The ongoing quarantine, which started in March, completely changed the way we consume art. Instead of heading to museums on weekends, we log in to virtual tours; cheering on our artist-friends at their exhibition openings has turned into video calls; and watching a musical or a play now means streaming a show online. But this also meant being able to access art anytime, anywhere, as long as you have a stable Internet connection and a phone or laptop.

Let the Flowers Bloom ran from July to August at Altro Mondo Creative Space. It's also available online through Kunstmatrix.

"Wherever you are in the world right now, know that we are together in these unprecedented and strange times. While things are rapidly changing and we are all adapting to a new normal, we can make good use of this forced pause," says Remigio David, creative director of Altro Mondo Creative Space, in a video call. And since this "forced pause" allowed us to go on an "Add to cart" craze, the art market has also shifted to the digital space.

How to Start an Art Collection

Art collecting can be overwhelming for someone who's just getting into it. David, an art collector himself, lists some of the questions you should ask yourself before making a purchase:

  • Which artist should I collect?
  • What is the right price to pay for their work?
  • Will this artwork be an investment or, at best, an asset?
  • Why should I collect art at all?

But the number-one question always is: Do I like it?

"The art market can seem like a daunting world, reserved for those with millions to spend on artworks by the biggest names in the business. But don’t be intimidated: everyone can enjoy buying and owning art in an affordable way. Whether it’s a painting, photographic print, monotype or etching, the key is to choose something you love and buy with confidence," David adds.

Through the Kunstmatrix website, you can also click catalog view of Altro Mondo's exhibitions for easier access.
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How to Develop Your Taste in Art

He also recommends developing your interest in art, which is a lot like how one would develop their taste in anything else: through regular exposure. To put it simply, you just have to "look at a lot of art." If you can, visit museums or galleries that have reopened, as long as you follow safety protocols like making an appointment, wearing your face mask and shield, and maintaining social distance. "Really look, don't just glance at it and decide it's stupid or boring, but stop walking and look for a while."

If, after a week, you still remember one or two pieces of art from your last museum visit, then you may have found what style or which artist you're drawn to. Go down that rabbit hole. Learn more about the artist, art history, or art movement through books and other materials you can easily find online.

"The point is, you have to get past the feeling (which a great many people have), that art is a confusing mystery to which you don't have the key," David concludes.

For more tips on starting your art collection, watch this video:

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