Navigating The Blue Chip Art Market
How Prints & Editions Can Help You Build A Collection

Spray painted rat on its hind legs wearing headphones and holding a tape recorder and receiver with an orange radar spiral in the backgroundRadar Rat © Banksy 2004
Joe Syer

Joe Syer, Co-Founder & Specialist[email protected]

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The blue chip art market has long been a field of prestige, attracting collectors and investors alike. But entering this exclusive world may seem daunting to many, particularly those without astronomical budgets. The market of prints and editions, however, makes the process more accessible and has experienced significant growth in the past years. This article delves into their value within the blue chip market, showing how these more attainable pieces can provide an entry point for budding collectors and help build a diversified portfolio. As you progress in your art collecting journey, it's crucial to build a network of art professionals who can offer guidance, support, and resources. MyArtBroker’s expertise helps you protect your investment, while our services like MyPortfolio help you track, manage and engage with your art’s value.

By employing the services offered by MyArtBroker and implementing art collecting strategies such as diversification, research, and staying informed on art market trends, you can confidently navigate the art world and maximise your investment potential. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced collector, investing in prints and editions can be a rewarding experience that enriches your art collection and your understanding of the broader art market.

Understanding Prints And Editions In The Contemporary Art Market

Prints and editions are reproductions of original artworks, created using techniques such as lithography, etching, and screen-printing. Limited edition prints refer to a specific number of reproductions created by the artist or under the artist’s supervision. These prints are typically signed and numbered, with the number indicating the print's position within the edition, establishing its authenticity and increasing its value. This is what distinguishes them from fine art prints, which are high-quality reproductions that may not be limited in number but still hold significant value due to the quality of materials and the printmaking process used.

While they may not carry the same status as original paintings or sculptures, prints and editions are still valuable art pieces, particularly when created by renowned artists such as Banksy, David Hockney and Andy Warhol. The contemporary art market has increasingly embraced these works, and prints and editions have become an essential part of many collectors’ portfolios.

Why Collect Prints & Editions in the Blue Chip Art Market?

There are several reasons why a person might choose to invest in the blue chip print and editions market. These are typically more affordable than original artworks, which makes them an ideal starting point for collectors looking to build their collection without breaking the bank. Another great reason is availability – since they are produced in larger quantities than original pieces, prints and editions are generally more available, allowing collectors to access works by established artists who may otherwise be out of reach. Caring for and insuring an original work of art is also out of most people’s realm of expertise, and can be intimidating for many. The lower price-point of a print or edition often comes with more peace of mind, ensuring you can enjoy the work and display it without many of the similar security concerns that come with owning an original.

Finally, the prints and editions market has proved itself to be more resilient than most, especially at a time of economic uncertainty where the art world is struggling with sales. Due to this, the prints market has become increasingly prominent over the past few years, with many collectors recognizing their potential for long-term growth and investment as an alternative asset.

“The contemporary prints and multiples market is unique because of its strong performance despite economic downturns. With the hard-hitting, everyday intricacies of inflation, the cost-of-living crisis and a collapse in living standards, uncertainty is rife. During periods of instability, prints are a way to diversify your portfolio, where more traditional investment options are high risk.”
Joe Syer

Choosing the Right Prints & Editions for Your Collection: Collecting Tips

To make the most of your investment in prints and editions, it is essential to continuously educate yourself about the medium and the market. This can be done by attending art fairs, exhibitions, and seminars where you can immerse yourself in the art world, gaining valuable insights into the latest trends and developments. Subscribing to art publications and following reputable art market analysts will further help you stay informed and make better decisions for your collection. Try to also take the time to learn about different printmaking techniques and understand their unique qualities, familiarise yourself with the artists whose work you're interested in and study the history of their prints and editions.

If you are looking for the artwork to retain worth as an investment, look for prints with smaller edition sizes, as they tend to be more valuable due to their rarity. You should also ascertain that the prints you purchase are in good condition and verify their authenticity and provenance, as this can significantly impact their value and desirability. Another important part is to carry out an art valuation, which can be done for free through MyArtBroker. It is crucial to consult with art experts to understand the fair market value of the prints and editions you are considering.

Building Your Art Portfolio With Prints & Editions

Many prints and editions by blue-chip artists have proven to be sound investments, appreciating in value over time. While it's important to have a clear focus when building your art collection, it is also beneficial to explore different genres, styles, and periods. As you diversify your collection, this will help you gain a broader understanding of the art world and identify unique investment opportunities, which will in turn further enhance your collecting experience. Aside from helping you develop a more comprehensive appreciation of art, diversifying will help your collection’s worth remain stable from any market fluctuations.

To protect your investments, it is key to stay informed about the latest art market trends and analysis in order to make strategic decisions when building your collection. This is also an opportunity for networking, creating spaces where you can engage with other collectors, art dealers, and experts in the field to expand your knowledge and discover new opportunities for acquiring prints and editions.

Although the prints and editions market is far from static, the first half of 2022 saw Banksy, Hockney and Damien Hirst as the world’s top 3 best-selling artists in the print market. But there are many other different styles of prints in which you can invest, all of which have seen significant appreciation in the last few years. For example, the Urban and Contemporary print market experienced growth and correction in 2022, while the Pop Art print market continues to soar in value.

Maximising Your Investment Potential with Prints & Editions

While investment potential is important, it is also crucial to collect pieces that resonate with you personally, ensuring that your collection is a source of joy and inspiration. You should approach your print and edition investments with a long-term mindset, seeking to understand that art market fluctuations are normal, and the value of your collection may rise or fall in the short term. For this reason, make sure you start your collection with affordable art and gradually progress to more significant investments as you gain confidence and experience in the blue chip art market. This is a perfect opportunity to support emerging artists, which can be a rewarding way to support their careers while potentially discovering future blue chip talent.

As with any artwork, it is crucial to ensure that you keep all relevant documentation such as certificates of authenticity, to help maintain and potentially increase the value of your prints and editions. The same goes for properly conserving and storing your prints and editions – think of it as vital to maintaining their value and condition, and work with art conservation professionals to ensure that your pieces are protected from damage and deterioration. Additionally, depending on the value of your print, you might want to consider investing in proper storage solutions such as climate-controlled facilities to safeguard your collection from environmental factors that could harm your art.

Investing in Blue Chip Prints & Editions with MyArtBroker and MyPortfolio

MyArtBroker helps you navigate the blue chip art market and build your collection of prints and editions, connecting buyers and sellers by providing a platform for purchasing high-quality prints and editions from established artists. When you purchase prints through MyArtBroker you are guaranteed to get the fairest market value price, a thorough condition report, and the expertise of our team in negotiating your final offer. We manage the deal and logistics from beginning to end, so that you don’t have to worry. We also offer regular art market reports, providing a comprehensive analysis of its current state and ensuring you have the knowledge and confidence to navigate the complexities of the blue chip print world.

As with any investment, you should regularly review and assess the performance of your collection and the performance, making adjustments when necessary to optimise your art investment portfolio. Our platform MyPortfolio helps you do exactly that, providing insights into the latest art market trends and fluctuations so that you can make informed decisions when selecting prints and editions for your collection and helping you identify those with the most potential for long-term growth.

We help you stay up-to-date with art market reports and understand art trends, so that you can take advantage of emerging opportunities and make strategic decisions for your collection.

A graphic of two phone screens. The first phone screen shows the dashboard for MyPortfolio, with an exemplar portfolio. The screen shows the total value of artworks in the portfolio: £230,272-£560,678 and the Growth AAGR: 32%. On the second phone screen, a graph shows the value growth of an artwork over a 5-year period, and the auction history of that artwork.MyPortfolio © MyArtBroker 2023

Taking the Leap Into the Blue Chip Art Market

As we have seen, prints and editions offer an accessible entry point into the blue chip market and enable collectors to build diversified portfolios with the potential for long-term growth. Building your collection can be an enriching and fulfilling journey, and one that can provide both emotional and financial returns. By staying informed, leveraging the services of art professionals like MyArtBroker, and implementing strategic collecting and investment practices, you can maximise potential and create a diverse and valuable art collection. Prints and editions allow you to explore, own and appreciate the works of established artists while cultivating a deeper understanding of the art market as a whole.

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