Warwick Brown debunks the myths of art collecting gallery

Work on display at the Uxbridge Tutors and Students Exhibition.

Work on display at the Uxbridge Tutors and Students Exhibition.

The world of art collecting has an air of intimidation and sophistication about it for many people.

But one seasoned collector is ready to debunk those delusions of grandeur.

Warwick Brown has been collecting art for 45 years and has amassed more than 500 works by New Zealand painters, printmakers, sculptors and photographers.

Renowned New Zealand art collector Warwick Brown.
Meghan Lawrence

Renowned New Zealand art collector Warwick Brown.

He says developing a good contemporary art collection can be one of the most rewarding activities you can undertake.

"It is low maintenance and something you can share with your friends," he says.

Brown says most people are put off collecting art because they think it is a hobby for the "super rich".

"Of course it is if you want to start at the top end and have a McCahon or a Hotere.

"But if you buy art not for investment but because you love it, then you can start off buying work from student art exhibitions," he says.

The art aficionado says there are a few golden rules to establishing a good collection.

"You cannot buy with a good eye and an intelligent grasp for where things are at and where they might be going unless you have done your swat," he says.

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"You don't have to turn yourself into a university expert but you do need to know your basic modern art history."

He also suggests restricting your collection to a particular medium and buying art that you can live with for the rest of your life.

"You should never buy art to go with your decor, that is such a cliche," he says.

"It is a truism for the reason that you will have the art for the rest of your life, but you're not going to have the curtains."

Brown says good art is work "in which the artist has really put so much of themselves into it, that the viewer cannot resist the output".


Stuck for a place to start? Then check out the Uxbridge Tutors and Students Exhibition in Howick, Auckland.

The end of year exhibition showcases a wide range of media and styles, including oil and acrylic painting, pastel, watercolour, ink, jewellery, mosaic, sculpture and pottery.

The exhibition opens December 3 at 6.30pm. All works are under $500.

Phone 09 535 6467 or go to www.uxbridge.org.nz

 - Stuff

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