If you’re new to the phenomenon that is Robert Lenkiewicz, then hopefully you will have already learned enough about him to consider investing in some of his art.
When a friend asked me about buying some of his works, I decided to take a look at what was available, and how much it would cost to begin collecting.
The good news is, you don’t need to spend a fortune to begin populating your walls with his works. Even though some of his more popular, or even controversial, works can fetch quite a sum, much of his varied output is no more expensive than his contemporaries.
If you’re taken in by his skill, then you probably want to display some in the home, and here’s where you’ll need to consider the size as well as the cost of the paintings.
For example, “Bishop Startled,” a 1.5 metre square oil on canvas sold for around £100,000.
Now, in the world of art, that’s still not too much to pay for what is arguably a stunning piece of work, but if this is your first foray into collections, you might want to start at a lower price point.
Certainly, many collect his work not just for the investment (and it certainly is likely to increase in value), but for the fact that every painting tells a story.
His skill is without doubt, and when you couple it with the stories behind each painting, you have something that will not only look great on your wall but will give you a talking point when friends stand to admire it.
For that reason, if you really want to appreciate Lenkiewicz’s life and how it shaped his later works, it can be both rewarding and less expensive to begin with his smaller and less popular paintings.
As with most artists, prints are often an easy way to decorate a home without going to the expense of an original. However, it’s wholly unnecessary as some of his art can be picked up at prices not much more than that of a print.
And let’s face it, having an original on the wall is not only a greater investment, it’s also much more of a talking point.
We’d always advise, then, looking for originals, but where do you find them?
As much as the temptation itches me to type it, I will refrain from simply saying “Google it!”
Yes, Google is our friend in many cases, but if instant gratification is your thing and you click on the first link you find, you’re not going to get the best for your money.
The first thing to realise is that you’re going to find some great works from traditional auction houses. Again, if this is your first time collecting art then this might strike fear in the heart, but don’t panic!
The first thing to bear in mind is budget. Set your budget and stick to it, this will give you a target and you can then base your search and eventual purchase on that.
With a budget of £1,500.00, there are many works you could buy, but during an auction those prices can inevitably rise. That’s how auctions work, after all, but you should stick to your guns.
There will be plenty of his paintings available at that price point (yes, only marginally more than some of his prints), so it’s worth holding out to get one that you will love and cherish.
Obviously Google has flattened the Earth and geography seems less and less important.
Regardless of where you are sat surfing, you can get something delivered to you the next day from anywhere. However, geography has an important part to play in Lenkiewicz’s work.
As you hopefully know by now, he was based in the South West, and so it’s fair to assume that auction houses in Cornwall, Dorset and Devon are most likely to stock his work.
Although not an exact correlation, the laws of supply and demand do have a part to play.
If an auction house in Plymouth is having a large sale of his paintings, then there’s every chance your budget will be spent well. There will be a lot to choose from and therefore less of a chance of being outbid on everything you try to buy.
So, in our humble opinion, here are our five steps to finding a painting that will give you a great talking point for visitors, will help you learn more about the artist and will be a great investment in the future.
Lenkiewicz’s unique style means he’s always going to be in demand, and it’s unlikely the stories about him will ever go away. In fact, given the amount of work going on to preserve his legacy, it’s likely that more people will get to learn about him.
So, enjoy the art you buy, get to know the community, and eventually, you might become as addicted as we are to his charms.