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  • Investing in Art? Read This First

    Thinking about buying art for investment? Thinking about buying art for any reason? Well, if you're spending more than a few hundred dollars and you're not absolutely positively 100% sure you're making the right decision (or even if you are sure), getting a second opinion is an excellent way to go. And getting that second opinion from me is even a more excellent way to go. Not only do I tell you whether or not the art is worth buying, and if it is, how much to pay, but I also review any documentation that comes with the art, point out critical information about the art or artist that you may have overlooked, tell you what additional questions to ask the seller, and more.

    I'm exceptionally cost effective, I'm on your side, and I work no angle other than to give you the most accurate honest appraisal or assessment of your art situation, no matter what it is. I have been in the art business for over 25 years; I know a lot about art, a lot about how the money flows, and a lot about how art and money mix. Art is my job, and I do my job well. For you, this means the following: MY ADVICE SAVES YOU MONEY.

    I can't count the number of art and money questions I get from people on track for disaster-- either overypaying, underselling, buying fakes, misinterpreting facts, thinking they know how to appraise art themselves, thinking all they need is a chart with a couple of prices on it, thinking they know how to authenticate, thinking they know how to read a COA (certificate of authenticity), thinking that a COA automatically means the art is genuine, thinking something is great that's awful, thinking something is awful that's great, getting suckered into investment schemes, hiring "appraisers" who also buy and sell art (conflict of interest), and on and on and on.

    I am continually amazed by the oceans of people who believe that anyone with a functioning brain can evaluate art, that no special skills are necessary, that anyone can tell a masterpiece from a dog or an Honest Abe from a con man, and nothing seems to convince these people otherwise. They take whatever advice they can get FOR FREE (and we all know what free advice is worth), they don't think they need professional help-- certainly not the kind they have to pay for-- and think they're perfectly capable of doing it themselves. But you know what? They're not. Not even close. You know when they figure it out? When it's way too late.

    I hate watching people lose money, people who think they know something about art, but who actually need help. I even implore some of the worst "train wrecks waiting to happen" to hire me. And still they resist. Well, at least I try.

    While I'm on the subject, you know what else I hate? Telling people they just wasted hundreds or thousands or tens of thousands of dollars when they could have hit me up in advance for $50 to review their impending purchases. Now they have to try and get their money back-- and it's not always easy. But it is always sad.

    Simply put, the art world is rough and tough to navigate unless you've been around it for a while, and you know where to go to get what you want. Getting the full and accurate story is often difficult even for experienced pros like me-- and if it's hard for me, it's well near impossible for people who don't know the territory. So if you're unsure enough to contact me in the first place, follow through and hire me (or another fine art professional). Get that EDUCATED NON-CONFLICTED second opinion BEFORE you risk the big bucks, because anything can happen-- and it does-- all the time.

    No matter what your situation, there's always a best course of action-- and art business professionals know how to figure that best course of action out. Don't go it alone. Hire a pro.

    Oh, and one more thing. I don't just give dollar amounts or simple "yes/no" answers. Whatever my conclusion, I tell you how and why I reached it, and often where I get my information. And if I think someone can add more or is better qualified on the matter, I tell you who they are and how to contact them.

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