Passionate, erudite, hedonistic, spiritual or even investors are all terms that characterise art collectors. True businessmen and women, they often manage large-scale financial transactions. Discover the profiles of collectors according to their buying habits.
Art online : a not-so-new concept !
The abundance of online offers does not leave art buyers and collectors indifferent. Since art does not need to be palpable, true art lovers can quite simply visit this website or any other online gallery to buy or sell works of art with just a few clicks. Art enthusiasts can search every nook and cranny of the net for creations that only exist in a single copy. The online art market is so crowded that the online art market has experienced a meteoric rise in just a few years. Despite the pandemic, the year 2020 saw a 10% increase in digital art transactions compared to 4% in 2019. Despite some reluctance on the part of some collectors, the online art market continues to fluctuate, with more than $4 billion generated each year.
The varied profiles of art collectors
While the art collector has, in the minds of most people, a comfortable social level, it sometimes happens that people from more modest situations manage to find beautiful pieces. The majority of recurring buyers, however, are, of course, from the highest social classes. They include major entrepreneurs, or even famous and political figures, or even artists themselves, who have wished to own their own gallery. The owners of works can thus make their collection accessible to the public or not, and it is highly likely that superb creations are still hidden from the world, displayed in a private salon, or forgotten in the back of a cellar. In any case, this rather fortunate environment should not lead one to believe that the artistic field is inaccessible, or reserved for the richest people. Just as there are different kinds of buyers, there are different kinds of people who know how to appreciate art, whatever its nature (cinema, photography, painting …). It is a field where one can create one’s own culture, totally subjective, and where it is not necessary to touch, or to materially possess a work to understand it and carry it in one’s heart.
The works can also be found anywhere, and you can find them at prestigious events and exhibitions, as well as on the walls of a simple alleyway, where an unknown artist has decided to leave his signature.
The rare pearls collector
Driven by their passion for art, rare pearl seekers do not skimp on financial means to acquire unique pieces. They are constantly scouring the auction rooms for unusual works that stand out from all the others.
For some, building up an art collection is a real adventure. In addition to their passion for works of art, they also have a very pronounced taste for risk. As a result, the biggest decisions are made according to their instinct of the moment. These people can invest astronomical sums on a whim, or travel to the other side of the world overnight to find the piece they want.
A professional art buyer works as a gallery owner, an antique dealer, architect or curator. In any case, he has an extensive network in the art world. Because of his functions, the professional collector relies on his knowledge rather than his intuition and advises the largest buyers. He discovers real nuggets at fairs, workshops, auctions or on the web. This expert is interested in art in all its forms. He favours works with high added value that he could resell, or use to embellish his collection, which he may make accessible to the public for his own profit.
Unlike professionals, hedonists rely more on their favourites. Their love of art motivates them, and visual pleasure animates them. This profile of collector appreciates being in the presence of beautiful objects and focuses on the first sensations he feels when he discovers a work. The hedonistic collector rarely pays attention to the reputation of the artist or the monetary value of an item.
For some art buyers, it is the spiritual side that prevails. These people put culture, history, and the knowledge conveyed by art before anything else. This is a matter of collecting the goods left behind by past civilizations, or of obtaining the work of an artist who had an important place of his own time. It is also the spiritual ones who will take the greatest interest in contemporary pieces, where interpretation takes precedence over aesthetics.
The immense sphere of art collectors also includes many enthusiasts in search of perfection, beauty and the unusual. Beware, they do not act on a crush and even less on their speculations. Perfectionists spend their time analysing the smallest details of a work, and will only invest if it fulfils each of the criteria they have selected to make their choice.
There are also more humble art collectors who have a perfect command of the art market. Don’t rely on their discretion, these art buyers own many works. They live their passion to the full, far from prying eyes, and collect their goods only for their own satisfaction, with no interest in the luxurious image this can give.
Altruists and philanthropists
Finally, these altruistic collectors do not care about the most expensive works. They are mainly committed to emerging artists, supporting them materially. Scholars, wealthy individuals and influencers, these philanthropists buy works directly from the artists. They are often the ones who bring little-known artists out of the shadows, giving them access to quality materials and the opportunity to exhibit their creations.