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Heart, Taste, and Brain

I am often asked by would-be collectors about the difference between Emerging Artists, Mid-career Artists, and Established Artist, and, mostly—with a spark of greed in my interlocutor's eyes—what is convenient to buy.

Dutiful to the core in my passion for art, I am not a speculator but a lover. I poetically insist that, in life, one must feel with the heart before passing the information to the brain; however... there is a clear distinction between a person who loves art and understands its language and a person who wants to gain financial benefit from it. Therefore, I dispassionately answer as follows:

  • An Emerging Artist is someone who’s in the early stage of his or her career. Someone who’s caught the eye of an art critic and/or gallery but hasn’t yet established a solid reputation as an artist amongst art critics, art buyers, and art galleries. Independent of his or her chronological age, this individual has created a modest independent body of work.

  • The Mid-career Artist is an artist who has created an independent body of work over a number of years and who has received regional or national recognition through publications or public presentations of his or her work. A Mid-career Artist has had a significant number of solo exhibitions at significant galleries and museums, located nationally or internationally.

  • An artist who is in the Established stage in his or her career has created an extensive body of independent work. He or she has reached an advanced level of achievement by sustaining a nationally or internationally recognized contribution to the discipline, and his or her work’s value has been decided through consistent years of sales and confirmed at auction.

After explaining all of this, they ask me what to buy, and the subject becomes delicate because, unfortunately, art is subject to too many variables that can establish its price. For artists of the first two categories, we can’t count on fixed variables: prices can be subject to market dynamics established, for the most part, by gallery owners who, through more or less reasonable means, make the an artist’s price quotations fluctuate (although the art market has refocused its goals on short-lived commercial success rather than careers) based on the media exposition of the artists, on their CV or exhibitions, or even on the artwork's material.

For the established artists in the third category whose audience are wealthy people, there are more conventional prices, which are set by various factors such as: international acclaim and appreciation for individual contributions of the art that is backed up by a line of solo and group exhibitions in significant institutions and an impressive body of work.

One of the first painting by Raffaello Sanzio, at the age of 15, Madonna Col Bambino, (1498), Casa Santi, Urbino

My entourage does not normally target this category, so my answer is irremediably that an art lover (though, if your eyes shine at the idea of ​​concluding a deal, can I ever remain romantic, and hope that you are a lover) should trust his or her own taste, instincts, the existing corpus of his or her own collection, or have a clear idea of ​​what he or she would like to create. People have to stay aware of their own collection or a collection they wish to build, and they must imagine how a particular piece would fit in it. Envisage the potential of your art becoming influential in the future while you curate it. This way, you will not make a mistake, even if one of your emerging artist discoveries doesn’t become exceedingly famous.

This description encapsulated the title, for you need: heart, taste, and brains.

Yet when seeking artwork worth your money, finding the person whose work is fresh and unique and stands out from the trends or pleasantries is crucial. Dedicated artists who take risks and welcome challenges, whose visual language shows a continuous development, who do not stagnate, who are serious about art as their livelihood, who have certain evidence of academic or professional accomplishment (even from the art school period), and who may be well-received by a small number of art professionals are usually the best ones to invest in.

A keen eye, true passion, and courage in art buying can pay off, especially if combined with constant circulations through local—or even better, the international—art world.

I still have yet to mention the internet, the unquenchable source of information, which constantly proposes the (art)world anew. There are legitimate websites associated with art markets. I will just mention the most popular, but there are a countless others: and There are so many kinds of representations, galleries, live auctions online, e-commerce, and, if you are not a cyber person, today there are more public galleries, pop-ups and exhibitions than ever before. It is now possible to immerse yourself in art freely with a lot of galleries charging no or minimal entrance fees. Perhaps also because of the worldwide economic crisis, people are (re-)discovering art’s healing powers for the spirit, and they are more dedicated to it, making art more accessible and legitimate to each of us who wants to encounter it.

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