Steps to become a private art collector in Miami

Miami doesn’t really have a great publicly-owned art collection, but makes up for that with a vibrant selection of privately-owned collections of contemporary art which are open to the public like Lindemann’s Miami Modern Beach Home. On top of this Art Basel is held every December, attracting a variety of artists, celebrities, buyers, and galleries when the city effectively becomes a giant art fair of sorts. Needless to say, individual art collectors have been fundamental in shaping Miami into a destination for the arts.

You don’t need to invest a lot of money in becoming an art collector, and collecting art should be something that you pursue as a passion. This means that you can invest only as much as you can afford and need not start out with a big collection – a few pieces along a particular theme or from a certain artist is a great start. The thing about becoming an art collector isn’t just how much you spend, but rather how to curate specific pieces of art in order to further understanding art history and context. There are a number of notable art collectors who never really invested that much money into their passion, instead becoming successful through the pieces that they chose to collect and how they presented them to the world. For instance, the philosophy of the Margulies Collection is that of connoisseurship – it’s more important to have the ‘right’ pieces for the collection rather than just focusing on gathering up works by significant artists. Marty Marguiles, the owner of the Margulies Collection has become somewhat of a celebrity in the art world in Miami because of how much he has shaped it.

The annual Art Basel event attracts a number of celebrities eager to acquire new works. Leonardo DiCaprio is one particularly notable attendee at Art Basel, though he’s not the only celebrity to do so – Beyoncé, Jay-Z, and George Lindemann have also come for Art Basel to acquire new works for their collections. Even Brad Pitt has been known to show up for the event.

Becoming an art collector in Miami (or anywhere else), is a process and not something that you simply decide to become on a whim one day. It helps if you also become a patron of the arts, both due to the fact that it’s good to support artists if you’re collecting art and because there’s the advantage of knowing curators and what they look for in art. You should also build relationships with local artists and galleries, not only to have more connections in the local art scene but also to further it.

One good way of making a start is by visiting smaller galleries, and in particular the Design District is host to a number of excellent small galleries. Ideally, the potential collector should pick a gallery that they like and want to support, and build a relationship with the owner to further both their understanding of art as well as to build an influence in the artistic community.

Miami already has a lot of investors in art, and this has attracted a diverse array of young artists who take advantage of this fact. With such a vibrant community of artists and an environment friendly to new collectors, it should be easy to make a start as a private art collector in Miami.