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5 reasons why art is the best passion investment

Jay Rutland, Creative Director of Maddox Gallery, is always adding new works to his personal collection. Here, he shares five reasons why art can bring both enjoyment, and rewarding investment opportunities. 

From contemporary art to classic cars, whiskey to wine, the beauty of investing in something you love is that it holds emotional value beyond its monetary worth. These assets are guaranteed to bring you happiness. We acquire them because we desire them.

In the 2024 Knight Frank Wealth Report, art, once again, came out on top as the leading passion asset. If you are yet to discover the benefits of collecting art, these are the key reasons why I believe it should be an essential component in everyone’s investment portfolio.

01. Art is officially the number-one passion investment

Art continues to reign supreme as the top asset world-wide that can bring joy for its owner. Outshining all other luxury collectibles, including vintage Ferraris, Rolex watches and the great Bordeaux wines, it commands a substantial share of affluent investors’ portfolios — approximately 20% in 2023, according to Knight Frank’s analysis. As an art collector myself, there is also something wonderfully addictive about investing in art. Making a profit is always in the back of your mind, of course, but I have acquired many works over the years that I would be very sad to part with. Finding a piece of art that you connect with is extremely satisfying, both intellectually and emotionally. 

02. Art is a stable investment in unstable times

With a low negative correlation to equity markets, art investment has a reputation for providing a safe haven during volatile periods. Unlike other passion investments, which have begun to slow or, in the case of cars, whiskey and handbags – reverse – art experienced double-digit growth in 2023. As global markets grapple with the repercussions of inflation, sluggish economies and the anticipation of a fiery US presidential election rematch, the art world stands out as a beacon of stability.

03. The joy of art ownership is unparalleled

While we always hope that the value of a piece of art will increase over time, from my own personal experience, the biggest investment is the pleasure you get from owning an artwork. I always say, buy what you love. It’s a cliché, yet so true. I still remember how I felt the first time I saw Stik’s work. I found the pure simplicity of it fascinating. Not only do I still own the work that I purchased that day; it continues to bring me a great deal of pleasure. 

04. Nothing beats the thrill of finding a new artist

One of the very best parts of my job is discovering new artists. In the first Covid lockdown, while browsing Instagram at home, I happened upon an incredibly talented artist called Cooper, who is based in Indiana. His canvases, which represent the joy he finds in the minutiae of life, immediately caught my eye, so I got in touch. Since then, we’ve enjoyed a fantastic relationship with this young artist, with two sell-out solo exhibitions and Cooper currently working from our Shepherd Market gallery for six months as a Maddox Artist in Residence, prior to his solo exhibition at our Berkeley Street gallery in June. Part of the beauty of collecting art is following and supporting emerging artists on their journey. Watching an artist flourish as they become more confident in their style is incredibly rewarding. 

05. Collecting art can evolve into a life-long passion

I can personally attest to this, and I have also had the pleasure of witnessing numerous friends and clients experience that light-bulb moment when they find a genre or artist that they connect with on the deepest level, resulting in those “have to have it” moments. Each person’s art collection is different and unique to them, which is a very special aspect of art collecting that is not spoken about nearly enough. 



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