7 Questions for Dealer Helena Porter On Teaching Clients the Ropes of Collecting Master Artists

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Curator, collector, and dealer Helena Porter recognized a widespread need for personalized support and guidance for new collectors looking to enter the world of fine art acquisition. Porter founded Longgame Fine Art with the idea of providing comprehensive services to facilitate the sale and acquisition of secondary market artworks, helping clients not only build a collection to their tastes but build a portfolio of assets that help develop and diversify wealth. Though the cultural value of art is widely understood, its position as a tool for financial enrichment is often considered obscure or out of reach; Longgame Fine Art situates itself at this exact juncture, aiding those already interested in art in their ability to confidently collect, building long-term wealth.

Helena Porter of Longgame Fine Art.

Helena Porter of Longgame Fine Art.

Representing work by artists ranging from Jean-Michael Basquiat to Vincent Van Gogh, Longgame Fine Art has grown into a historically significant collection that works to both educate clients as well as offer a high-value starting point for those just beginning their collecting journey. Simplicity of process is a core part of the Longgame Fine Art’s ethos—both fine art sellers and buyers can benefit from the swift and exciting endeavor of building and refining a collection.

We reached out to Porter to learn more about the genesis of Longgame Fine Art, and what advice she has for new collectors.

Tell us about your background, what led you to found Longgame Fine Art? What first inspired your interest in art?

I have loved and appreciated fine art since I was a young girl. I come from a long lineage of fine art collectors. When I was a child, my maternal great-grandmother, Mama, had many beautiful paintings hanging on her walls, in every room and hallway. She would tell me about each painting in great detail. When my great-grandmother died, my maternal grandmother inherited her art collections. Upon the death of my grandmother, my mother was appointed as custodian of the family’s art collection.

What is the core mission or ethos of Longgame Fine Art?

I founded my company to represent collectors on both sides of the pendulum. My company’s mission is to negotiate the sale and acquisition of secondary-market fine art by master artists. Our goal is to have a favorable outcome for both collectors. Meaning, we dissuade sellers from seeking top-market prices to help the next collector acquire the artwork at a fair and reasonable price.

Since the opening of Longgame Fine Art, what is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
My biggest lesson has been logistics: security, storage, handling, and transportation. As a new company, prior to sales income, the above four were very expensive and created a huge financial burden. At the start of my company, our initial clients were selling collectors. As a business, it is our responsibility to cover the above costs to secure possession of the artwork in order to guarantee its availability and accuracy.

Is there a guiding principle for the type of art you work with?               

In order for my firm to represent a selling collector, much due diligence is levied to confirm ownership. The seller must prove their ownership before entering into a partnership agreement. They must present factual and actual proof that they are indeed the legal and rightful owner of the artwork. Without this documentation, we will not accept the artwork or the seller as a client.

A lot has changed in the gallery world over the past few years. Do you have any predictions for the future of the art market? Or are there any trends that you find particularly exciting or intriguing?

I can only speak from the secondary market fine art perspective. Many only purchase art through professional representation and do not want to be identified as the owner. I do not see that changing, at least not in the near future.

As for predictions, I believe web 3.0 will have a significant impact on galleries. Web 3.0 and the Metaverse will offer a vivid gallery experience with a profound 3D and interactive viewing experience. Something I, myself, am looking forward to.

Do you have any advice for new collectors? 

I would advise new collectors to buy art from their hearts. Let their first purchase be an artwork that resonates from a place deep within themself. The artwork should have a deep meaning that invokes emotion. This will ensure a beautiful beginning into the world of art collecting.

What is your favorite piece in Longgame’s collection? Why?

This is a tough question because I have many favorites. I will say (ca. 1941–48) by Marc Chagall. The painting was created during the time period he live in New York, during his exile due to World War II. Chagall and Monet are my top two master artists. As an American, to represent a Chagall painting painted on USA soil is very rare, and special to me.

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