Masterworks lets anyone invest in artwork, here’s how

Emilee Geist

Scott Lynn is the founder and CEO of Masterworks, an art investment company that gives people the opportunity to invest in art who might otherwise priced out of the art market. The platform features work from the likes of Claude Monet, Andy Warhol, and Jackson Pollock. Earlier in 2020, Lynn […]

  • Scott Lynn is the founder and CEO of Masterworks, an art investment company that gives people the opportunity to invest in art who might otherwise priced out of the art market.
  • The platform features work from the likes of Claude Monet, Andy Warhol, and Jackson Pollock.
  • Earlier in 2020, Lynn offered Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1982 “The Mosque,” worth $5.5 million, for investment.
  • In an interview with Business Insider, Lynn explains why Basquiat paintings are so expensive, gives tips for people looking to enter the art world, and breaks down how Masterworks actually works.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The price of a Jean-Michel Basquiat painting runs into the double-digit millions.

In 2017, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa paid more than $110 million for Basquiat’s 1982 “Untitled,” a record high price paid for an American artwork. After the sale, art dealer Jeffrey Deitch told the New York Times that Basquiat was now in the same league as “Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso.” 

But what if I told you that you could have had a piece of that deal?

“Most of the investors that we talked to were either fans of a given artist or just never thought they could invest in an asset class like this,” Scott Lynn, CEO and founder of Masterworks, told Business Insider.

His art investment platform is seeking to make this kind of blue-chip artwork — like that painted by artists such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Basquiat — more accessible to the general public.

“I believe there’s a role for art in any investment portfolio,” he said.

Typically, one can only invest in artwork if a piece is bought outright. Masterworks has figured out a way to break down those barriers, and it sells artwork in shares, like stocks, making the art market a game anyone can play. 

“I think we’re getting really good adoption from everyone that’s a very small investor to even larger investors, that have wanted to invest in art but haven’t really been comfortable collecting by going into galleries and interacting with the art world,” Lynn said.

Lynn took Business Insider inside Masterworks, while explaining just why Basquiat goes for so much.

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