20 Jul 2016

Home Exteriors: Colour Palettes for a Distinctive Style

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
- George A. Moore

Your home is a reflection of your artistic sensibilities, and can be a joyous expression, a celebratory carnival or a subtle feeling. Right from the architecture, the quality of construction to the colour palette, each feature contributes to the individuality of a home to create a distinctive style. I feel colours are much more than a necessity, and truly encapsulate the personality and vibrancy of the home and the residents. The right colour choices bring out the uniqueness of your home.
Home Exteriors: Colour Palettes for a Distinctive Style, Asian Paints Book of Exteriors, Art Scene India, Art Consultant
You may have noticed that it can often be challenging to decide on a specific colour for the exteriors of your home, and it can also be confusing to select colours, shades and hues which will have a visually pleasant impact when paired together. After all, not all of us have a sense of colour, texture and design, our strengths may lie elsewhere and that is perfectly fine too. One may wonder how a green trim would look on a lavender body…or is that too farfetched!

I found the Asian Paints Book of Exteriors very useful in offering a range of colour palettes – various colour combinations that are ready to be selected and applied in your home. Now, these colour palettes have been specially curated to keep a wide range of sensibilities in mind and can therefore be adopted easily in every Indian home. Thus essentially, irrespective of your architectural design, whether it is traditional, blending the quaintness of old world charm with contemporary comfort or one that is modern, appearing minimal with sleek contours, multiple colour palettes offer ready to select options making our lives simpler and easier.
Home Exteriors: Colour Palettes for a Distinctive Style, Asian Paints Book of Exteriors, Art Scene India, Art Consultant
The various colour combinations on different architectural designs give a sense of what would work, so you can assess, for instance, how a light coloured body can be accentuated with shades of blue and green such as Sapphire ice and Prairie Green, one of my favourite palettes from the book, and it has such an elegant impact! Similarly, you can choose other colour alternatives to voice your expression - exuberant, understated or poised. Incidentally, the names of the paint colours will surely delight you – they are delicious, divine and even passionate, sample this, Exotic Spice, Apricot Illusion, Sultry and so on!

We all know that inspired choices can make all the difference, so making the right colour selection for your home is important to accomplish exactly what your heart desires.
Home Exteriors: Colour Palettes for a Distinctive Style, Asian Paints Book of Exteriors, Art Scene India, Art Consultant
Before I forget, the book also offers insights into a range of products that are specialised to meet all your requirements in terms of aesthetics and functionality saving you time and effort in searching for the right products.

So go ahead and pick up a complimentary copy here and let me know if you find the book useful. What are your favourite colour palettes? Drop me an email or comment here.

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4 Jul 2016

Art Investment: The Fine Art of Collecting

This article was published in Tapasya, a publication by the Indira Institute of Management Pune

The Fine Art of Collecting

The last couple of decades have seen a tremendous surge in terms of awareness and interest in art. Suddenly names like Souza, Raza and Husain are familiar, not to just those within the art community but also outside it. Clearly, this change has not taken place overnight. The economic liberalization policies in the early nineties and the subsequent spurt in economic growth resulted in substantial amounts of disposable income that was accessible for splurging and also for financial investments. Simultaneously, the advent of global luxury brands in India introduced the middle and the upper middle class to luxury products, symbols of societal status and high living. For the first time one could purchase a wide range of aspirational products in India. This exposure to luxury brands and hi-end products was instrumental in creating and widening a buyer base that had a penchant for art, artefacts and collectibles.
Art Investment: The Fine Art of Collecting by Nalini Malaviya
This was also a period when many art galleries set up operations or expanded their businesses, thereby increasing their reach and creating multiple access points for art connoisseurs. In fact, this was a phase when art was positioned and promoted as a viable asset class that could generate large financial returns. Unfortunately, the subsequent crash in the market led to the economic downturn which also affected the art market immensely. It helped in dispelling the myth that all art could be a financial asset in the short term, or that there were parallels between investing in art and in stocks and shares, real estate or gold. In a way this led to correction of art prices and has eventually helped in stabilizing the art market to an extent. It has also shifted the focus back on art as a medium of creative expression, its aesthetics and its visual content rather than stay confined to names, price brackets and returns.

In this context, collecting art has caused some confusion especially for the first time buyer and collector. It Art Investment: The Fine Art of Collecting by Nalini Malaviyabecomes difficult for them to gauge and assess which art to buy, at what price points to enter the market, which artist to invest in and in general what to expect. Yet, art as an aspirational collectible continues to draw connoisseurs who have an eye for the finer things in life and can afford to indulge in luxurious living. Research and an avid interest in art can aid in developing a keen eye for art and also empower buyers on commercial aspects.

For instance, paintings by old masters or contemporary art in various media are coveted for the artist names which have become synonymous with high end brands; however, apart from artist names, thematic content, concept and execution are paramount in contemporary art. With increasing art awareness, a familiarity with artists’ names, local galleries and prominent auction houses is created which empowers the buyer when buying art. As art events, shows and auction reports are widely publicized in the media it helps in keeping abreast of upcoming artists, trends and sale figures. All of which can be valuable when buying art.

Collecting art

Building an art collection can be a rewarding experience, both aesthetically and as a viable investment option, albeit in the long term. It is important to be clear and identify the motives for collecting art, and a passion for the arts should be the driving force. A visual investment should take precedence over all other aspects.

One should also realize that significant collections are difficult to build overnight, but instead they tend to evolve organically over a period of time. In the initial stages, they are driven by the collector's tastes and preferences, however, later on they may get refined further due to conscious efforts. Sometimes, the choice of the collector is governed by considerations such as budget, available space, and time required for such an activity.

When selecting art, it helps to keep in mind if the collection is a private one or if it might be put on public display at a later date. One can buy representative art from various periods or focus on a specific school, style of painting, era or artist. It is also essential to realize that an art collection, unlike one comprising of smaller collectibles needs a larger space, and special care in terms of lighting and maintenance.

The process of buying art can be an exciting and rewarding one – visiting art shows, interacting with artists, critics and gallerists, reading and researching on art are activities which help immensely in selecting art for the collection. It is possible that there will be times, when one is forced to overlook personal tastes in favour of deliberate choices, which would benefit the entire collection as a whole.

When one is collecting art, irrespective of the initial investment, the overall value of the collection is likely to go up with time. Therefore, it is important to do the necessary research and take the time to build one that will be significant in terms of historical content and also its financial worth. When collecting art, it is essential to periodically review the artworks and see if some of them need to be sold off to either make space for new works or in order to build a more coherent compilation.

Art Investment: The Fine Art of Collecting by Nalini MalaviyaThe Indian art scene

The current art scene has much to offer to discerning collectors and buyers. The recently held India Art Fair, New Delhi has grown to be a significant event in the region and attracts a large number of international audiences as well. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale has also emerged as a major art event which showcases several exhibitions and organizes art and culture related programmes for its entire duration. A number of other art exhibitions and festivals that are organized in tier II cities ensure that local audiences are engaged and there is a buzz around art.

Art auction major Sotheby's will be opening its first office in the country in Mumbai in March this year. The auction house Christie's has seen its business grow at a faster clip in India since its first sales in December 2013, and its auction figures saw a sharp surge in 2015.

The contemporary art scene is clearly vibrant and should thrive further in the years to come. The online space is a fast evolving and attractive arena which is expected to see more players. Art ecommerce ventures are likely to grow and hopefully offer greater diversity and curated artworks to its buyers. There is a marked interest in Indian modern and contemporary art and an emerging attentiveness towards classical Indian art, which makes it an exciting phase for art connoisseurs.
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21 Jun 2016

Art News: Art Scene India Recommends

Art Scene India Recommends: 

Here's a round up of art exhibitions and events for you to visit - most of these are in Bangalore. Do visit them and let me know your views. Which ones resonated with you? Drop me a line here. I look forward to hearing from you.


June 21, 2016, Today
Inline image

June 26, 2016, Sunday

Galerie Sara Arakkal presents Yusuf Arakkal's "FACES OF CREATIVITY", an exhibition of 135 Indian artists portrait with a Book launch.
Inline image 2

Gallery Sumukha marks its 20th year since 1996 and celebrates with the opening of 'An Inner Retrospective'
Solo by K. Laxma Goud, with curatorial inputs from Marta Jakimowicz

‘The Limited Edition’ is an exhibition which pays homage to the art of printmaking. The exhibition consists of prints produced during a two week long printmaking workshop organized within the gallery space. The workshop brought together important pedagogies of Indian printmaking. Artists from Santiniketan, Baroda, Kheragarh, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Mysore were part of the atelier.



28 Apr 2016

Art Advice: Market Mantra, Education Times, Bangalore

Nalini S Malaviya, an art consultant, critic and founder of an art information website, on growing opportunities for artists and allied professionals in her field

By BS Manu Rao
Art Advice: Market Mantra, Education Times, Nalini Malaviya, Art Consultant, Bangalore
The Indian art market is rapidly evolving and expanding in width and dimension despite economic downturns. The last couple of decades have been responsible in giving an impetus to art activities, and in causing a surge in terms of awareness and interest in art. In recent times, several art fairs, festivals and significant exhibitions held across India have ensured that not only local audiences are engaged, but international participation has also grown. In fact, India is fast becoming a prominent player in the region as interest in modern and contemporary art has grown significantly across the world, and the events built around it are of global standards. International art auction houses are also viewing India as a significant market, which is also indicated by a surge in sales in modern Indian art at recent auctions.

Industry Status
With the growth in the Indian art market, not just artists but also other allied professionals such as critics, curators, consultants, restorers among others have increased opportunities for employment. The job description of an art consultant can be quite exhaustive and involve advice on investing in art, building an art collection for individuals and corporate, offering advisory services such as appraisals and valuation. It also involves interactions with artists, mentoring upcoming artists, writing catalogue text, curating art exhibitions and also has opportunities for teaching, conducting seminars, writing for media and advising start-ups on art ventures. As an established art consultant, one can work with artists, galleries, corporates and also art colleges.

Educational Qualifications and Skill Sets
Art history/criticism/curation/arts management backgrounds facilitate a career in art consulting. People from multidisciplinary backgrounds who are creative and knowledgeable about art, possess exceptional analytical and writing skills along with the ability to conceptualize and curate exhibitions can also succeed, but it is important to understand that one must be conversant and informed about art history, artists, global trends, markets, galleries and related topics. Irrespective of the educational background, art consulting is a demanding field and one must be willing to learn with experience and self-study. It also helps to be passionate about art and have networking skills, along with excellent communication skills.

Growth Areas
The contemporary art scene is expected to grow further; the online space especially is evolving at a fast clip and is expected to see more players. As corporates and other businesses become more sensitive towards the arts, the expertise of an art consultant will be required to bring in art based programmes, for instance, training and workshops for employees, activities as part of corporate social responsibility and other areas where art knowledge and creativity is essential.

Starting salaries could be low, but there are plenty of opportunities to freelance. It can be anywhere from Rs 20,000 onwards depending on your capabilities and skill sets.

-As told to BS Manu Rao

An abbreviated version of the above article was published in Times of India, Bangalore on 25th April, 2016 

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25 Mar 2016

Guide: The Fine Art of Buying

Art is a visual investment, and as a medium has the ability to alter the aesthetics of the environment 

Buying your first work of art can be intimidating and perhaps, also perplexing. How does one decide which artist’s work to buy or where to buy it from? Similarly, there are questions related to style, genre, medium, size and of course, the price of the artwork. These can all add further to the confusion. So, here are a few tips to guide you towards selecting and buying an artwork.
Guide: The Fine Art of Buying, art buying tips, Art Scene India

Empower yourself

The first step is to visit a few art galleries to see the works that are displayed there, and consider what engages you - which works do you feel aesthetically, emotionally and intellectually drawn to? Notice your reaction to the works displayed and this will give you an indication of the kind of works that you relate to. Visualize these on your walls now and consider if you would like to look at them over and over again. Remember that art is a long term investment and that is very unlikely that you would purchase a new work of art for your living room every couple of months.

The next step is to look up online galleries and browse through images to learn more about various genres, styles and corresponding prices. Again, this will give you a sense of the kind of art which engages you, as well as direct you to artists whose works you like.

Guide: The Fine Art of Buying, art buying tips, Art Scene IndiaMake sure, you do this only after you have visited and viewed art galleries, since the physicality of viewing art is an important step in understanding its nuances, for instance the tactility of the medium, use of pigments and materials, textural quality and the dimensionality of the artwork are evident only when you stand before it. In fact, also visit artist studios and interact with artists whenever possible. This will facilitate an understanding of processes, and materials and media.

In parallel, read up on articles to know more about artists and current exhibitions. It will give you a sense of art trends, popular artists and will cultivate familiarity with the language used in describing art. This will also help you in understanding text accompanying art, which in turn offers insights into the work.

Set a budget

It is important to set aside a budget for art so that there is clarity on the amount that you are willing to invest in art. It would be advisable to begin with a small amount, perhaps in the Rs 20,000 - 50,000 range, which allows you to gain confidence in the initial period of learning. You could consider buying works by upcoming artists as these are likely to be in the affordable range. You could also purchase limited edition prints, drawings and watercolours, which are generally priced lower, in comparison to oils and acrylics.

Following these steps will ensure you learn about art and the art market, enabling you to make the right choices when it comes to buying for your home. Even if you are buying art at your interior decorator’s advice, take the time to be personally involved.

Art is a visual medium of expression, which can be used creatively to complement home interiors. It is a visual investment, and as a medium has the ability to alter the aesthetics of the environment completely and as you learn more about its finer aspects, you can incorporate both style and substance in your home interiors.

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