Guide on starting an art collection

We enlist the experts to offer top tips on how to get started

If you are an art lover, you certainly don’t need to be an expert or have an unrestricted budget to start thinking about building your own collection. There are plenty of opportunities to pick up great works that are exclusive and original; art that will give you a lifetime of viewing pleasure as well as being a great source of investment for the future.

Making limited-edition art available at affordable prices is the vision of Lumas Gallery. Art lovers can purchase select original artwork such as Danish photographer Peter Funch’s Bouncy series – which was made in 2005 before being launched onto the market in 2014 – and it includes 150 limited-edition pieces signed by the artist. The award-winning artist’s work drew attention following an advertising campaign he photographed for Sony during which 250,000 colourful super balls were tossed on the streets of San Francisco.

Lumas’ collections also include works by popular artists such as Stefanie Scheider, who introduced the edition ‘Stranger than Paradise’, which was made in 1999 and launched last year. The German artist uses a Polaroid camera to create thrilling tensions in her images, which distills the emotions of the moment. Other famous names include the British artist Damien Hirst, who created the ‘Till Death Do Us Part’ edition.

The gallery’s customised exhibition concept has been designed to impart the feeling of being in an art collector’s home. The different areas of the studio provide an impression of the impact that the displayed piece would have inside a kitchen, living room or office. Potential buyers thus get an idea of what their new art will look like in their home. Here, the gallery’s Dania Halaoui lends tips on getting your portfolio started.

1. Only buy art that you love
Don’t buy art purely as an investment, you should select it because it speaks to you on a personal level. In this way, you will be buying art that enriches your life.

2. Budget
Start focusing on the kind of works you are interested in once you have established your budget. Lumas Gallery places high-quality art photographs within the reach of a wider clientele and caters to a variety of budgets.

3. Start small
Every collection starts out small. If you are a new collector, you could start with the more affordable open edition prints before moving on to limited editions – they can be purchased for as little as Dhs210. Online galleries in Dubai, including www.drawdeck.com, sell works from a variety of Middle Eastern and international artists. Choose from drawings, comic sketches, abstract works, illustrations and more for as little as Dhs50. Get discounts on more expensive art pieces throughout the year at www.capsulearts.com, the online marketplace which has special sales and offers at various times, so keep checking for deals. Works range from Dhs270 to Dhs1,912 and include mixed media, photography, print making and digital art.

4. Get to know the artist
One of the most captivating aspects of art is the person who created it. If you are thinking of starting a collection, you should take time to get to know the artists and explore which ones speak to you. Lumas has more than 200 established artists in its portfolio of offerings, so individuals can find specific artists who appeal to their individual tastes.

5. Art presentation
You should be aware of the importance of framing. Framing offers buyers the opportunity to make their artwork unique with their own tastes and preserve the artwork. The Lumas team selects the perfect frame and ideal mounting for every work.
Building 10, DIFC Gate Village. www.lumas.com (04 425 0400).

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