Your Guide To Collection and Investing In Art

In the last two decades the global art market has grown significantly, and collecting art is no longer reserved for the rich & famous. The appetite for contemporary art is now undeniable with a wider variety of our society now buying and collecting works not just for the visual satisfaction but also as an investment for the future.

Art Life Gallery has grown to become one the most recognized platforms in the world by providing unique opportunities for our collectors. We help both the first-time buyer and the serious art collector navigate their way through the ever-changing global art market and offer guidance and advice on the best investment opportunities. 

Collecting of art as a high – performance asset class is now considered a key financial investment and no longer an alternative one. We want our clients to find the perfect balance between the art they truly love that also appreciates and is a safeguard of wealth.



Between The 1st Of January And The 31st Of December, The Average Percentage Of Profit Achieved By Artlife’s Advisory Client Was 21.5%


We saw the global art market grow by 6% in 2018 taking it sales to $67.4 billion just short of the $68.2 billion seen in 2014. According to economist Clare McAndrew’s report “The Art Market 2019,”. That total makes 2018 the second-biggest year for the art market in the past decade.


The US became the largest market for art sales in the world. The US, China and the UK account for 84% of total sales by value.

The US has been the dominating global sales territory for the past 20 years keeping a safe 20% increase distance from its closest competitors. With the exception of China who accounted for a slightly greater share of world sales in 2011. 

The UK lost its long-established second place to China in 2010 who saw sales hit a sky high until 2014. The market managed to recover from the global financial crisis and reclaim its position from 2015-2016 before once again having to surrender to a strong year of sales in China and a struggling pound. China managed to claim second place once again by 2017 but this was short lived. The UK once again regain its position as the second largest art market accounting for 21% while China remained the third largest with 19%.


It is incredibly important to understand the difference between the two art markets when making your first investment. They comprise of the primary and secondary market

  • The Primary Market

The primary market focuses on the direct sale of art from and artist or a dealer, this can also be a commissioned piece. 

  • The Secondary Market

The secondary art market focuses on the resale of the arts through consignment, galleries and auctions. This is where the value of art can skyrocket. We have seen this happen to an increasing number of artworks in the contemporary space in the last 10 years. Auction sales of post – war contemporary art surpassed those of modern and impressionist art for the first time in history during the 2007 boom. 

Investors have flooded the sector with 10 to 20 percent of their total investments going to art. The reason for the above is that the art market managed to grow even at times when other sectors suffered due to the weak economy beating other asset classes even at times of unfortunate economic downturn.  


At Art Life we make it our business to identify key works by emerging and established artists. We pride ourselves in being able to spot artists who have the potential to become superstars or what the industry refers to as blue – chip artists. We’ll go into more detail on these definitions below.

  • Emerging Artists

An artist who is at the early stages of their career is considered an emerging artist. Their work will likely be sold on the primary market. They are starting to get noticed and will have a small auction record. It may take some time for their art to appreciate in value, but this is a great entry point for investors as the potential for large level investment returns can be very high.

David Yarrow

David Yarrow is considered an emerging artist as his artistic work has started gaining wide recognition. His large scale photography captures the natural beauty of wildlife, remote geographical landscapes cultures, and communities in different parts of the world. Yarrow has a rigorous approach in creating and producing his artwork and has embraced the challenges associated with it. He was the only photographer invited to North Korea in 2017, to capture the cultures and rural areas of North Korea. His consistency and originality has got the attention of contemporary art galleries and major art collectors.

  • Established Artists

Established artists are no strangers to the art market and widely known. You will recognize their work and would have seen articles float around the news hemisphere.  They will have had their works in auction houses and a strong gallery sales track record. You will likely find their works in private collections as well as hanging in galleries around the world.  


Banksy has emerged from the streets to international notoriety all under an anonymous guise. Working freehand with spray cans and stencils his work is instantly recognizable. His work is usually speaks to anti – establishment and is subversive with a splash of humor thrown in. 

He was voted Britain’s favorite artist, beating the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet to the title in July 2019. He was one of just a few living artists to make the cut and the only one in the top 10. 

His thought-provoking stencils are among the most iconic and controversial images in Street Art. He has left his mark on cities around the world from Melbourne, Jerusalem, Toronto to New York City. 

He has an auction record of $1.9 million and his 2010 documentary ‘Exit through the Gift Shop’ received an Academy Award nomination. Not to mention numerous museum appearances.


  • Blue Chip Artists

Blue Chip artists hold great value that is reliable and highly profitable. These icons works are expected to retain or increase in value despite economic ups and downs. Their value has been dictated through year after year of consistent sales and through auction. These are household names and are recognized far beyond art circles. You will find their works in national and international galleries or stored away in high security storage facilities. These works will extraordinary sums in the six or seven figures, but returns may not be as impressive as emerging or established artists works in percentage terms. 


Andy Warhol

There is no denying the impact Andy Warhol had made on the art world and American culture.

He was the leader of the Pop Art movement of the 1960’s and 70’s and responsible for bringing ‘popular’ everyday culture into museums. Playing a fundamental role in having commercial imagery of items such as Coca Cola bottles and Soup Cans accepted as fine art.  

In the process of turning stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley into objects of modern through his iconic portraits he turned himself the artist, into a star.

His work is recognizable, greatly collected and continues to influence popular culture to this day – 33 years after his death. 

Although Warhol’s art has seen and auction record of $105 million, much of his work can is still affordable. For example, his silk screen print of Marilyn Monroe which was bought for £21,800 in 2002 and resold for £158,500 12 years later. 

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat is a prime example of a blue chip artist. Hailing from the 1980’s he tore apart the idea that artists should be remain commercially virtuous by turning his rebelliousness into art and giving birth to the "Art Star". He became a muse to many artists including longtime friend and mentor Andy Warhol.

He was an intellectual and focused on suggested dichotomies such as wealth versus poverty, integration versus segregation, and inner versus outer experience. His art was a tool for self-development as well a well as a commemoration of African American history and protest against the social and political situation in the United States.  

He was on the forefront of huge shifts in art, culture and race in America and has continued to live on in books, movies, music and visual art. Today he is in high demand and dealers and auction houses scramble to find top paintings of his work to satisfy the surge in interest of the late artists work, following the $110.5m auction of his skull painting


  • Gallery Representation

Art is an expression of individual skills and ideas to the word. They are represented in the form of paintings and sculptures. They are displayed in the art gallery where why can be seen and be bought. When embarking into the art world. One should consider the factors that influence the art market, and they include: Gallery representation and a solo exhibition.

An online gallery is becoming one of the significant aspects of promoting artwork. This is because it tends to attract new collectors into reaching a more extensive number of people with videos and pictures. It is considered as the visual part of art which attracts most interested clients. The solo exhibition gives the artist the chance to get a direct response from the customers. This inspires the artist and gives him or her an idea of what the market requires.

  • Lack of availability of work

Some of the artist around the globe turn into artistic work after searching for white-collar jobs and not getting them. It makes one relay on talent or training on the creative world. It gives an individual an idea of how they can use their abilities to make money. A good painter or artist can generate cash through his pieces of artwork 

  • Auction results

Most auctions in the world specialize in western art. There has been an increase in the auctioning world where the auctioning centres are rising gradually. Some of these auctions include the Fredericksburg, Great America, among others. Their focus is mainly on western art. There is high competition in the art world for most auctions are looking for quality works. The premium charged to the buyer influences the pass rates of the art and hence if the rates are high, it will have a 30 percent decline on the value of the paint.

  • The Press

The press is another big factor that influences the market of the art world for it gives an artist the idea of what is trending and what is not. Through social media, sites such as Instagram and any other websites that majors in displaying the pieces of art. One is able to sell or buy a piece of art. The press plays a big role in the art market for they pass information and create awareness on the pieces or arts that are being sold and their prices. They also give out information where the biggest auctions will be and the events.

  • Corporate Endorsement

This is offered to an artist who seeks out to look for customers for their pieces of art. The manager or the argent seeks out to look for clients who will buy the piece of art. He or she does, and thorough research on the piece of art, he finds out the prices and the best places to sell it. He provides the artist with a chance to help sell their products.

  • Books and Journals

Books and journals provide an artist with an idea of how the art market looks like. It gives out insight into what the art world is looking for. This is convenient for the new artist who wishes to sell their work, but they cannot afford to go to the art fairs or the auction. It plays an important factor in the art world.

  • Art Fairs

In 2015, the art fair generated a profit of about 12.7 billion for the exhibiting galleries the art fairs act as a crucial platform for galleries and artists, to sell their work. They provide a chance for them to sell art by meeting new clients. They also provide a chance for a client to view all the collections just under one roof.


In conclusion, these factors play a great deal on how an artist can market their products and what they can do to improve their artwork and to sell and gain value

Why invest with Art Life? is considered one of the first online-only art galleries, providing trustworthy and transparent sales and investment advisory. Whether you are looking to acquire one painting or print as an enjoyable way to diversify funds, or looking to make a sizable allocation of Art as an Alternative Asset, Art Life can help you create a strategy and find the right deals for your collection.