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Art as an investment vehicle. Answered

I find it hard to say anything nice about the The Artist's Pension Trust (via the BBC) and I'm finding it equally difficult to completely denounce it. I suppose many of my misgivings may have more to do with the general state of art within contemporary culture than with the trust itself. Anyway, decide for yourself at their official homepage. Or just take the New York Times' word that the Artist's Pension Trust is infused with "a healthy dose of socialism."

"Such informal trading systems, where young artists swap their own work for art made by others, has always served this dual purpose of combining pleasure with diversified financial security. The idea is that at least one of the group will become a recognised and valued artist, and as such a broad arts portfolio is likely to contain at least one valuable work of art. Now, a multilingual globetrotting financier has formalised the system, making a quantum leap in the process, in the form of the Artist Pension Trust." -- BBC

However, if you really want to make a good investment, let the BBC show you How to Spot a Banksy for fun and profit.


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12 years ago

I've only read the BBC article at the moment - and I don't have ill feelings... This helped with that:

The Artist Pension Trust decides which bits of art should be sold when, and it decides the price it should be sold for. However, it does so in consultation with the artists, who remain owners of their own works, to ensure they do not disrupt their work or the market for their art. (emphasis mine)

There are plenty of extremely talented/gifted artists that, sadly, don't reach their artistic potential for financial reasons (including thoughts of the future). I imagine most people like stability - something that's is hard to realize for many artists as they begin to think about their long term future.

I say this because of the family business. My parents own their own business - my father restores art, high end furniture, and as of recently - a lot of yacht interiors (lots of wood - lots and lots of super high gloss wood). My father hires artists to do this work. They are told that when they have a gig, event, etc. to progress with their art - they are free to leave (with notice of course). When they're done, they can come back and earn an income working.

So that's not exactly the long term stability I was speaking of before... It is short/mid. But if this Trust helps to keep more artists in their field - you'll here no qualms from me... You'll never hear me complain that there's too much art being produced :p