Find out more about the artist, their history and training. Look at other works that they have done in the past to see if there is a distinctive style, technique, and if there is a recognisable theme running through their work. All these points make up the Artists identity and ultimately their brand. Like anything collectable, Art becomes valuable when it is collected by many, and is typically collected when its easily recognisable. When buying an older work, and whether for the love of the work, or investment, or both, its wise to check the provenance of the work. This is the history of who owned it and which galleries or dealers its has been through if there have been several.
For the full interview with art collector Julian Smith about why he promotes South African art internationally and what to look for when buying South African art, go to thesouthafrican.com. By Gordon Glyn-Jones