1. Support the arts
Art collectors play an important role in the ecosystem of the arts: they often support emerging artists long before they are discovered by the institutional art world. Collectors support these artists not just financially, but also by generating attention for their work and by doing so, facilitating innovation and experiment. One could argue that an artist like Mondriaan, who effectively changed the face of what art could look like - an artist so ahead of his time, perhaps could not have made a similar development without support from collectors. When it comes to collecting art, what could be more exciting than possibly discovering the next Mondriaan, Warhol or Rembrandt?
2. Shape the future
One of the most interesting aspects of collecting contemporary art is that you can help shape the future of the art world - instead of looking back on what has been done before. We can all agree that artists are often at the forefront of change and it is therefore important that their voices are heard. As a collector you get to choose whose voices you think matter, and amplify those voices by supporting them. By doing so, contemporary art collectors are part of shaping the future of art: not only can they facilitate experiment and innovation, but also correct wrongs of the past. For instance by collecting those artists that have traditionally been overlooked, such as female artists and/or artists from non-Western backgrounds, whose voices have been unrightfully ignored for centuries. Even as a first-time buyer or beginning collector, you are contributing to creating change!
3. Current affairs
Artists typically reflect on current affairs in today's society. It makes sense to collect art from artists that reflect on topics that touch your life as well, such as racism, the pandemic, climate change, #metoo, etcetera; perhaps more so than to collect art made by older generations. This is not to say they are not important: every contemporary artist stands on the shoulders of those that came before him or her, and to understand the impact and meaning of art, knowledge of art history can be very helpful. However, while older generations of artists also fought important battles, their struggles might not resonate with you in the same way simply because they are not your struggles.
4. Price point
Artworks by famous artists, living or dead, are commonly a larger investment than works from emerging artists, at the beginning of their career. This is very attractive, especially for emerging collectors, who may not be as confident in spending large amounts of money or are on a tight budget. Collecting art at an early stage in an artists' career also offers the opportuntity to follow the artist for a longer period of time, witness their development, and perhaps even buy more works over time. Even though buying work from an emerging artist involves some risk in terms of maintaining value (the artist hasn't proven his value in the same way as an established artist has): if you're going to spend money on art, it makes a lot of sense to spend it on works from a living artists, who actually benefits from your purchase.