Written by Peter Jackson Eastwood • Published 27th November 2018 • 3 minute read

The global art market was worth more than $63.7 billion in 2017, and art is one of the fastest growing alternative investment classes. Art’s invulnerability to political upheaval allied to the increasing digitisation of the world of investment is making the sector more accessible, and attractive, than ever.

These five companies are using different strategies to turn art into an asset class for everybody from wealthy collectors, to everyday investors, and even making the market more lucrative for the artists themselves.

The Established Heavyweights:

The wealthiest players in the art market want the best investment advice, and The Fine Art Group offer their clients unrivalled expertise in collection management and art financing. Their speciality is in using art as collateral for lending, and in late 2017 they announced plans to deploy over $1bn in lending to collectors in Asia over the next decade. Fine Art is at the exclusive end of the market, and The Fine Art Group dominates that space, helping collectors and dealers to borrow against their assets: https://www.fineartgroup.com/en/

 Art Investment for All:

Maddox Fine Art, twinned with the luxury gallery based in Mayfair, is a specialist art investment consultancy with expertise in contemporary art and emerging artists. Their sweet spot is in spotting contemporary artists and art whose work has the potential to greatly increase in value, and pairing investors up with those emerging talents. Anybody can invest from £4,000, so Maddox are perfect for those looking to make an entry into the art investment space, or for those who fancy themselves as having an eye for the next Damien Hirst: https://www.maddoxinvestments.co.uk/about-us/

 The Digital Challengers:

The Maecenas platform uses blockchain technology to give investors the opportunity to own fractions of masterpieces in the form of digital shares. This is a different way for an investor to build up and diversify their portfolio, focussing on accruing shares rather than entire works. CEO Marcelo says that ‘Maecenas aims to be to fine art what NASAQ is to shares’. Maecenas see themselves as the inevitable response to the transaction fees that auction houses and banks charge, and their streamlined, efficient model is the perfect example of how technology is making art more investable: https://www.maecenas.co/

Whereas Maecenas is harnessing blockchain to democratise the art market, Arthena is using big data to put a 21st-century spin on art investment. Based in New York, Arthena analyses data points including the identity of the artist, the size of the art and the style of the piece, to identify which pieces will appreciate in value. Arthena operates funds from the high-risk, focussing on upcoming artists, to the low-risk, focussing on more established artists and works. Arthena’s model is bringing a scientific element to a traditionally emotional world so that anybody, not just experts, can analyse art and make informed investment decisions: https://arthena.com/

 The World’s First Agency for Artists:

MTart are wholly unique, as their model focusses on investing in artists themselves rather than in art. Founder Marine Tanguy, part of the Forbes 2018 30 under 30 list, wanted to create a model that supported artists, that was accessible to all demographics, and that could help art reach people from all backgrounds. MTart review 200 portfolios every month and select the artists they see the greatest potential in. Selected artists then have their studio costs covered, press exposure managed, sales of their work handled, and commercial and cultural partnerships struck. MTart partners with major brands, galleries, and even cities to place the work of their chosen artists. Collectors, clients and partners can then buy into artworks from the talent on the MTart roster: https://www.mtart.agency/about/

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