Art as investment

Two boys with fish by Paco Gorospe from Transwing Art Gallery

Good art, like wine, appreciates with time.

Oliver Phil Quingco II, long-time curator of Transwing Art Gallery and managing editor of says works by painter-printmaker Romulo Olazo and the late Mauro Malang Santos or simply  Malang  are bound to double, even triple in price as time passes.

“Needless to say, a dead artist’s works always increase in value by reason of limited supply,” he adds.

Those who can’t afford an Olazo or  Malang need not lose hope, however.  Quingco says an upwardly mobile millennial  who wants to invest in art needs at least only P5,000 to start his collection.  He can check out affordable art fairs such as Art in the Park every April in Makati,  ManilArt every October at SM Aura,  every April and October at World Trade Center, ManilaFame every April at World Trade Center, Artwalk at the fifth level of  SM Megamall at least once a month.

Entrance  to these art fairs is free, or at most, a reasonable P50 to P100 per person.

The art collector can also check out competitions open to the public  like Metrobank’s annual art awards  for young painters, sculptors, architects and interior designers.

Bank of the Philippines, as part of the Ayala Group of companies, has a respectable collection of works by Filipino masters and contemporary artists.

Far East Bank and Trust Company’s donation of long-lost Juan Luna paintings are displayed at the National Museum of the Philippines.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has quite a large collection of artworks.

Oliver points out that these financial institutions’ dedication to art shows how valuable it is, not only in terms of historical and social importance, but as an asset which may be quantifiable in peso value.

Oliver shares  a few tips on collecting art:

  1. Since art is subjective, start off your collection by buying that which interests you (always within your budget).
  2. If it’s a contemporary work, keep tabs on the artist to see how he progresses and grows as in his craft.
  3. When buying art, get a certificate of authentication signed by the artist as much as possible. You will appreciate this in the future when the artist is no longer around and the certificate is the only way to prove it’s authentic.
  4. Take good care of your art collection. Keep it in a well-ventilated space, away from direct sunlight and moisture. Works on canvas are sturdier while works on paper are fragile. Works on paper should be mounted on acid-free matting, chemically treated frames and framed in anti-UV glass for longer life. Unless specifically made for outdoors, treat sculptures in the same way you would paintings.
  5. Visiting galleries, museums and art fairs will expand your knowledge and refine your taste.
  6. As your art collection grows, make a catalogue where all the photos, certificates and information about each piece and artist is filed. You’ll have the papers you need should you decide to sell or give away all or a part of your collection.

If you make the right choices, you can turn your art collection into a priceless investment that will see you through uncertain times.

And it doesn’t matter whether you’re a millennial or a baby boomer. It’s never too early or too late to invest in art. After all, like most good things, art  transcends boundaries of age, time and space.