A version of this feature appears in Complex's August/September 2011 issue.
The art game is changing as new web outlets like Exhibition A offer flash sales of high-profile editions and modern methods of affordable printmaking allow new artists to get in on the game. Elisa Carmichael, co-owner of Culver City, California’s Carmichael Gallery, gives her take on recent art-collecting trends:
“Collectors have become cautious in their purchases and are currently focused on collecting original works by artists who have established themselves, institutionally and in the marketplace. This has made it difficult for mid-career artists whose awareness levels are high, but who haven’t yet broken through and/or haven’t proven to collectors that supporting their work is a safe investment. As for younger, emerging artists whose names aren’t instantly recognized, their position in the marketplace hasn’t changed drastically. If their work is well-marketed, attractively priced, and appealing to the collector, it may sell, although not as quickly or in as large quantities as during the most recent art market bubble.
“In print editions, there has been a drastic shift in collecting trends due to the increasing affordability of printmaking in the past few years. There are many new outlets, many online, and this has provided collectors with a vast selection of affordable prints from which to choose. While printmaking was once the exclusive domain of high-end master printers, and prints themselves were, at times, more expensive than original works by lesser-known artists, it is now possible to obtain a print by almost any artist, no matter who he or she is. More important, however, is the level of accessibility that this shift in the printmaking marketplace has and continues to offer; now, more people are purchasing art than ever before. Whether it is an economically priced poster or a six-figure original, this new market has broadened the gateway to collecting art in general, helping to develop and encourage a new generation of collectors.”
To help you step up your art collecting game, Complex rounded up 10 places to get great pieces worth displaying. Check out Year Of The Print: 10 Places To Buy Dope Art Right Now.