What to check before buying artworks? Whether it’s a multiple or a unique piece, it is always essential to make sure of certain requirements and certifications.
Buying an artwork gives anyone strong emotions and great satisfaction, which is often associated with a particular moment in one’s life, an event, a specific memory, a loved one. The works of art deal with our well-being and cultural and social enrichment, make our environments unique places and show the unmistakable style of their collector.
Works of art are also luxury goods, they are very special and prestigious collectibles, even exchanged for tens of millions of euros. For some works of art, real battles take place between two or more collectors, all eager to purchase that particular work and willing to do anything to become the owners.
Buying an artwork is, therefore, a unique and unforgettable experience. However, there is no lack of problems and threats; in a market that is worth billions of euros a year there are many people who try to take advantage of it illegally and unjustly, by placing false works of art, with illicit or unauthorized origins and/or with useless or counterfeit certifications. So what are the 5 precautions that any collector should keep in mind in order not to run into problems following a purchase?
1) Buy only what is CERTIFIED. The certifications for “unique pieces” works of art can be of two types: the certificate of authentication on photos (issued by the artist in life) or the certificate of archiving (issued either by the artist in life or by an Archive and differs from photo authentication in that in addition to the declaration of authenticity there is also an insertion code in the official archive of that particular artist). For graphics, it is always advisable to purchase ONLY what is published in the official catalogs that summarize the graphic works created by the artist. For example, for Andy Warhol’s graphic works the world reference is the general catalog “Frayda Feldman, Jörg Schellmann, Claudia Defendi, Andy Warhol Prints. A catalog raisonné 1962-1987 “;
2) Purchase only what has a CERTAIN provenance, verifying it in person when possible, in such a way as to acquire only works of art free from any encumbrance;