An Art advisor provides first time art buyers, novice, seasoned collectors and investors indispensable access to an artist’s work while evolving an insightful conversation aimed at understanding the collector’s primary intentions for acquiring the art, the perceived space the work is intended for and the budget.
He carefully guides the collector through the artist’s oeuvre, and at the very least assists in narrowing down interests and certain preferences, thereby helping the collector to make astute decisions pertaining to selection and acquisition of the artwork.
The art advisory profession has been around for ages, but its popularity has exploded over the last decade. Before that, clients mainly relied on working with trusted art dealers or relying on their own personal tastes. But increasingly, wealthy collectors are looking for a third party with art, and art-world, expertise but no monetary stake in the final sale of a work.
An art advisor can be the golden ticket to the most coveted contemporary art trophies. A collector cannot just walk into a major gallery, plop $20 million on the table, and walk out with one of the works on display. There is a process. Each gallery and or art dealer needs to trust that the buyer isn't looking to flip the work at an auction the next year or otherwise make money at the expense of the artist or gallery. That trust can take years to establish. But reputable art advisors already have those connections, facilitating gallery purchases with ease.
However, the popularity of art advisors contributes to a homogenization of the collecting process, leading to less eccentricity in the world's top private collections. It's becoming common to go down a list of top artists and tick off the blue-chip names that "need" to be in the collection, just like stocks in a financial portfolio. But then again, with enough clients, advisors can afford to come up with idiosyncratic, taste-based collections of their very own.