Two Simple Methods for Investing in Art

Contemporary artist Zoia Skoropadenko says there are two simple methods for investing in art. Below she highlights both and provides artist names (emerging and established) to look out for.

There are two simple methods for investing in art:

The first is to buy lots of young artists’ work cheap and wait to see if any of them hit it big. If you do it right you have a one-in-five to a one-in-10 chance of picking a winner. The art therefore needs to appreciate 10-20 times over the next ten or so years. Like any market it’s a game: you buy for £5,000, sell for £100,000 ten years later.

If I were collecting right now, I would be buying paintings by French artist Charlotte de Maupeou or ceramics by Belgian Johan Creten or photos by Kazakh photographer Almagul Menlibayeva or video art by young American Mary Reid Kelley.

The second method is to buy nearly dead artists who have fallen into obscurity and await a renaissance when they are retrospectively re-rated because they died or because perhaps they refuse to. Again the risks are high but the winners pay big.

Abstract works by British artists Desmond RaynerNeil Stokoe and Francis West or wonderful collages by obscure American artist Jean Christensen or paintings by Monaco artist Claude Rosticher.

The best investment of all is to buy art you love and let it pay you dividends in joy. However, that’s too easy for many or perhaps too hard for the hard-hearted investor.


About the artist

Zoïa Skoropadenko was born in the Ukraine and has been making art for as long as she can remember. From the age of five Zoia was tutored by Ukrainian national artist Grigory Sinitsa.

She studied at the National Art School and at the Institute of Fine Arts when the fall of the Soviet Union made it impossible for anyone without money to get an art education. Zoia continued her education in Lviv National University. As a leading student journalist with a network or international journalist friends she was unceremoniously kicked out of the University for being a spy. As the owner of a PC and modem how could she not be funded by the CIA? She later hitchhiked around Europe; often sleeping with the homeless and after a long adventure “down and out in Europe” ended up in Monaco and found herself a job.

If you are not the daughter of an oligarch or a trained and funded CIA operative it isn’t easy for a young artist to make ends meet in Monaco. However, the world’s most glamorous playground needs multi-lingual translation. So Zoia, who speaks eight languages, found herself working in the art scene and at the same time supporting herself translating.

While helping yacht brokers sell to enterprising East Europeans who had got rich quick she also helped Interpol arrest and interrogate enterprising East European’s who were hoping to get rich quick.

Meanwhile she participated in the artistic life of the Cote D’Azur. Along the way she met such prominent contemporary artists such as Arman (Nouveau réalisme), Ernst Fuchs (Fantastic Realism), Sosno, Emma de Sigaldi, Folon and Robert Rauschenberg and became a member of the National Art Committee and ADAGP. She also illustrated a book and exhibited.

In 2008 during the economic crisis, times became very tough and to make ends meet, Zoia was reduced to buying the cheapest food from the market and docks at the end of the day. One morning, a kindly local fisherman gave her a bag of octopuses for lunch. She wanted to eat them, but she had an idea that made her hungrier to create than to fill her stomach. The idea was to use the octopuses to create a sculpture. And so the kind gift of food became the TORSO series. Things began to look up. Four years later she had her first show of TORSO in London. The series was mentioned in influential art magazines such as Creative Review and things began to take off.

In 2010 she opened her personal exhibition space in Palais de La Scala in Monaco called “La Vitrine.” In 2011, the Monaco government granted her the official status of an Artist-Painter of Monaco.

She now exhibits regularly; her work has hung in Monaco, London, Tokyo, Paris and Brussels and her exhibitions have been held at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, in Fukushima and Osaka, Japan and in China.