Generations are Getting Better at Art Collecting, Starting with Millennials

  • by The Cartellino Team

Ah, Millennials—the generation hated by many, including ourselves. Yes, I, too, am a millennial and have once despised the term for a long time before finally learning to accept the fact that the word is simply a bracket made to identify those born from 1981 to 1997. And while I can go on a long rant deputing claims that we are entitled, this isn't about that. It's not about how we're facing a much bigger crisis than the Great Depression but it's somehow related to that. We're going to discuss how millennials are leading the game of art collection and Gen Z may step up our game later.

Why do people collect art anyway?

There are many reasons why people collect art. It could be for the aesthetic value but one of the most popular reasons is that it is an investment. It's an asset that can determine your social standings. The more expensive your collection gets, the lower your taxes, the higher your position is at in wealth rankings. These are all technically legal but to a fault. The previous generations have all thought of art as that kind of financial asset but the millennials are stepping up the game. We have long been brought up with messages like "follow our dreams", "be true to ourselves", and all that self-help advice our parents read from Facebook posts that were picked from Tumblr. We were all predisposed to be involved with the arts until we shouldn't.

What millennials value more than aesthetic?

In the years that have passed, we have all learned the value of political correctness and social awareness. This has put a great value on the art we collect and the movements we support. Aside from the obvious reasons of aesthetic value, millennials are more inclined to identify causes and political angles when buying artworks. As much as possible, in any way we can, we would like to be involved in discussions. So if buying art equates to an opinion then the art has just been bought.

Through all these, it's no secret that millennials have become smarter when it comes to handling money. We're in debt even before we choose to loan something and that's just a fact. If the past generations have called art collecting a luxury, millennials turn it around and use it as an asset. Honestly, there's nothing wrong with buying art as an asset. Recent studies have shown that millennials will be willing to give up an artwork if it means quick profit. Millennials have the art world to thank when it comes to artwork appraisals. The art market is a safer market than real estate, cars, or gadgets. An artwork's value doesn't depreciate as quickly as your iPhone 11. And this is a fact that millennials have come to use to get through the Great-er Depression that is and could happen for the rest of our sorry lives.

Photos courtesy of Unsplash.