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Today's New York Times article on cruise ship art auctions is pretty scary. It discusses big name artwork (mostly prints) being auctioned for many times over their land-based market price. The work is often sold to first-time bidders who may not really know what they are buying until they get home and suffer buyers remorse after doing more research and finding out signatures may be fake or that the print is nothing more than a quality poster.

This is the kind of story that makes everyone uneasy. It worries me, as a printmaker myself, that some unscrupulous art-dealers-turned-snake-oil-salesmen will take advantage of naive clients. Thankfully, there are websites like Fine Art Registry where artists can permanently register their art when they create it and where collectors, museums and galleries can register their collections.

While the big name artwork may be appealing, why not consider collecting artwork directly from living, breathing artist alive today. Not only can you collect some amazing work, you'll support a living artist in their career. And if you're lucky, you may, in the process, develop a one-on-one relationship with them, too. Now that's priceless.

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