Kleine Weltin

Kleine Weltin

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Costco to sell "art" again----

Industrial sized art?  
Here's the link:

Here are my BUYER BEWARE tips:
Please note that this goes pretty much for all art buying!

Is it authentic?  
Just because you are handed "a certificate" that anyone can write, does not mean that the official body, that determines if a Warhol or a Picasso is authentic, has determined that it is real.    A SF dentist that bought at Costco found THAT out!  Speaking of which, even those authentication groups have been plagued by misattributions and loads of lawsuits.

There is a group of artists that you should not touch with a 10 foot pole because of issues of fraud.   You can get in touch with me to find out if a work  you are considering, or have, is one of them. 

Who is selling it?
What is their background?  How many years have they been in business?  Do they belong to organizations that promote ethical behavior and expertise like:  International Fine Print Dealers Assoc., or  Art Dealers Association of America?
You would like to buy fine art?
What to do?  Buy from an established dealer that you can trust and will take back that piece if there are any irregularities!  

Was the word "investment" used?
Anyone that uses the word like a financial term trying to insinuate that buying that a work of art is like an investment- be DOUBLY cautious!   Selling art is very difficult.  Art is also not a very liquid asset.  So, thinking you are going to make a fast buck on art; is not realistic.   Cruise ships are notorious places of dishonest dealing because there is no binding law out there on the high seas!     

What is the fine print?
Auction  Houses are famous for putting in the, itty bitty, teeny weeny,  fine print all sorts of reasons why they will not be responsible if the art work you bought from them is not the real deal.   Do your homework, just like you would when you buy a car, refrigerator, couch. 

What is the reputation of the seller?
So, let see:  The reputation of Costco:  Several years ago Picasso's daughter questioned the authenticity of her father's works that were being sold there.  They stopped selling art for a few years.   Red flag?
Look at what they offer and what they're good at:  Mainly household goods.  It's a big jump to sell "real" art, due to it's complexity.   

If you want wall decoration;  then, lets call a spade a spade.   That's about as far as I'm comfortable going:  Costco is selling wall decorations.  

While it might be a "feel good" moment,  that the warehouse is trying to capture, by "bringing art to the masses"; buyer beware.  
You only have 90 days to determine what you bought is authentic and return it.  

You can find a lot of living artists that will really enhance your life and home, but it's an adventure to find them.   The Bay Area in particular has A LOT of artists just waiting to help you own original art for decent prices.  Galleries often times too, will deal on price.  Just beware of slick stories and "Certificates of Authenticity".  Those things should raise a red flag right away!

Oh, by the way- is your art  insured adequately?   I can help you with some general suggestions for that too. 

Claudia W. Hess