Art: introduction to the purchase of his first work by Hicham Daoudi

Hicham Daoudi
Gallery owner and founder of the Comptoir des mines de Marrakech

There are memories that have a smell, a sound, a voice. That from my first auction is ingrained in my memory. I remember the hammer blows from the auctioneer who hit the target “Sold, sold!”, Accompanied by his tenor voice. I remember this atmosphere of upmanship and tangible adrenaline in the space of this great Moroccan palace. With each piece presented, each buyer present in the room had the impression of having made the trade of the century. And I wondered then, but how to proceed to make the right acquisition. Showing off a work of art in your home is a dream that many cherish. And contrary to what many may think, this hope is not unattainable. You do not have to be very wealthy to collect art. Hicham Daoudi, gallery owner and founder of the Comptoir des mines de Marrakech, gives us some valuable advice.

When we want to buy a work of art, then should we let our hearts speak and buy what makes us happy?
It all depends on the desire to own works of art, is it basically for one’s home, to decorate or decorate one’s living environment with things that please and correspond to the overall taste? In this case, the person does not claim to constitute an art collection and the concept of crush works perfectly.

When, on the other hand, you want to form a collection and have a form of artistic heritage, then reason and documentation take precedence. It is better to take the time to reflect and document oneself well, to discover the artists, the gallery owners, the profiles and get an overall idea. If we are in the ground of purchase and collection, it is therefore necessary to know the artist, to be interested in his biography, to the ideas he defends, to have what is called a cartography and the artist’s history and previously sold works that are often available at auction house pages. Having information seems to me essential before I decide to buy so that the first purchase is not spoiled by a price that does not correspond to the true value of the artist.

What are the main mistakes not to make?
There are many mistakes not to make! First of all, a buy time! We must therefore take the time to know who we want to buy first. You need to have some sort of list and objectives when you want to build a collection. Purchasing priorities and budgets must be set. So do not rush. Lack of information is also a mistake that should not be made. And get a little easy on the taste for things because we do not have enough visibility on all kinds of art or artistic expression, and make a decision that we might regret. It is therefore better to buy a little, but to buy well.

Do you recommend that you first turn to young artists?
For me, the notion of young and mature or recognized artist does not exist so much in my way of reading artistic qualities. I think that in a collection, and it is always with a taste built up over time, one must combine the different artistic expressions, whether it is classic slightly abstract paintings or figurative paintings that tell us certain things at a certain time and to be open to new artistic expressions that tell us something different about our time today.

I love collections that are not hermetic for art forms, I like it when people combine intelligence and quality in all generations.

Is it advisable to attend auctions to make a good purchase?
Auctions are a very interesting tool to know the artistic offer at a given time and also have a state of demand. At an auction, we are supposed to find works that are a little rarer than we would find in a gallery, for example. So for me, the auction is a scene, it is a guarantee of quality.

It’s already a slightly more advanced collection phase, but that does not mean you should not start there. This means that we have a level of requirements when we participate in auctions. When this is not the case, it is important to first visit the exhibitions and meet the professionals so that they can tell us about the works before deciding to buy.

Maybe it’s a good thing to start with lithography?
This is not necessarily a good idea, because lithography is an art in itself and can intervene at any time in a collection’s life. But for the lithographs it is also necessary to protect oneself, see the quality of the paper, see if the work is bitten or not by moisture or by fungi.

Lithography is a rather special area, some are more valued than others, are of better quality. It is therefore necessary to choose carefully when it comes to lithography and of course the price is more attractive because it is smaller. However, do not make a mistake in the purchase, because a lithograph that is hollowed out, that has holes where the signature is illegible, does not have the great value.

Buying art is also keeping it, what should you look at before buying a canvas?
The first thing to look at is the quality of the canvas, the composition, to see if there are any gaps. See if it is the original canvas, that is, that on the back of the work has not been lined. It is necessary to see if the work in question has not undergone restoration, and for this it is difficult for a layman to detect it.

In this case, do not hesitate to ask the professionals who sell the work, and have this responsibility, to provide us with information about any restorations. This is called conservation status. Once the procurement has been made, areas where the work will be overexposed to light or experience very large temperature differences should be avoided. Typically, a work of art placed next to an air conditioner will cause you to constantly juggle the tension in the canvas and can create problems.

Old, modern or contemporary art?
This is where the heart takes precedence over reason. It is therefore necessary to have a tropism for a technique of painting or drawing or drawing from the actions, from the artist’s ideas, his political side and how the artist lives in society. How would he change the world in his own way? It is important to be in harmony with the artist’s ideas and ideals.

How to choose the artist?
Me as an amateur and collector is the closeness and the connections I can have with the artists I want to know. And this human connection is primordial and very important. In addition to buying the artwork, try to get to know the artist. They are often amazing people who see the world differently and who enrich us with their vision. So we understand work when we sometimes spend time with people.

Are you going to invest in NFTs? If so, how do you approach it?
NFTs are a new artistic continent, it’s like discovering a continent. There is already plenty to drink and eat, with NFTs just scans of things already seen, already known. So you have to be very careful. Even in NFT, you need to be in harmony with a creation or be seduced by ideas in the work of art that are visible. NFT is only a support, obviously the biggest difference is the materiality, for the work is not present before our eyes, but it exists on the screens, it exists otherwise. You still need to take the plunge now and have screens at home and see things that are also available online and of which you are the sole owner. It’s a philosophy about the artwork that responds to behavior today thanks to social networks, fintech … We need to be aware of that, because after all, the future tends to make more room for NFT.

Éliane Lafarge / ECO Inspirations

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