I usually buy when I am travelling, things that I find in shops or from certain dealers that I know well. I usually respond immediately if I like the work or not, and then purchase it. Usually, the first reaction is the one I trust.
I am not an academic. I think research sometimes adds to one's understanding of an artwork, but not necessarily.
We would send letters to each other frequently. Monique had her own vision and she was a lot of fun. We travelled to West Africa together some years ago. Our photograph was taken by Malick Sidibe. I was very sad to lose both of them, one after the other very recently.