Whether you are a first-time buyer or an experienced collector, the electricity surrounding an international art fair can overwhelm the senses. Lavish parties, rich history, and the subtle buzz of thousands of business deals endow events like Art Basel, the Venice Biennale, and the upcoming Los Angeles Biennial, planned for 2012, with an air of gravitas that is equal parts charm and distraction. Hopefully, with just a little advice, the prudent collector can cut through the noise and ensure the best possible investment on the best possible terms.
Tip 1: Do Your Homework While it might seem obvious to some, the most important rule for an art collector is to learn as much as possible about the artists and works available at a given event – what is the artist's personal history? What are the artist's best styles? What is the work's history? What prices do the artist's works typically fetch at auction or in the open market? In addition, it is important to consider the entire ouevre of the artist. A work which represents an important stage in the artist's career or a pivotal turning point will almost always constitute the better investment.
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