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If I had bought this years ago…


That’s what many collectors say when they see a rapid price development of an artist. I can tell you, dear readers, if I had bought more from my artist friends when we all were in our twenties, I would be filthy rich. Also artworks lent from galleries for photo shootings of my architecture projects – with ulterior motifs they might be sold to my clients – would have paid part of the project. For example a small rubber sculpture by Fischli and Weiss in the 1980s, 2500 € then, 450000 € now. Neither did my client buy it – nor did I.

The problem of all the missed opportunities is divers. In my case the works of my same agers were already too expensive for my budget. Martin Kippenberger for example was a close friend who showed up for dinner with us every week. He would have appreciated if I had purchased works from him. They were 5000 DM (2500€). To spend double as much as I earned in one month at Gottfried Böhms architectural office seemed crazy.

A bit later, when I had my own practice in Cologne and some great commissions, I started to buy one or two pieces a year. When we moved to Berlin, there were many occasions and temptations. My husband, an art dealer himself and a veritable truffle pig, found artworks by Alicja Kwade, Wolfgang Tillmans and some others very early, and I added some works by George Condo.

Not all of the artworks we bought are now worth ten times as much. But on average, it was a great gain. Most of all, the joy and the intellectual enrichment of living with art is immense. Also a circumstance that should not be neglected are the social contacts you get in the artworld if you are a collector.

What is my advice for you now for buying from young or mid-career contemporary artists with a positive perspective? There is no general answer, but you might find an art advisor to help. There are some good ones on the market, and also we at Artcrater do art advising. Just write to Advisory@Artcrater.com