As I have mentioned in the past as well, art has emerged as one of the safest investment options, provided one does a thorough research. Media coverage of art and artists has also increased proportionally and it is common to see artists featured on Page 3. And, coverage of art shows is also a constant in dailies. A reader wrote to say he was compiling a list of all artists that have been covered in local newspapers as a prospective list of artists worth investing in, and here I would like to point out, that presence in the media and investment potential are two separate issues. What one needs to realise is that not all artists that are featured in local newspapers and publications necessarily make for a sound financial investment. Interesting art, brand value/seniority of the artist and sometimes strong PR could be the reason for featuring an artist or his/her work. In fact, it could be something as simple as filling up the designated page. Therefore, one may find that the media coverage of an artist could be unrelated to the quality or investment value of their art.
Having said that, artists who are featured often in the media, are those who are likely to be in the news for their art or for their performance at auctions. In which case, they are also those who are likely to make their mark professionally. Keeping track of artists and their exhibitions is an excellent way to familiarise oneself with the art scene. One can learn a lot about different genres of art, styles and trends. One can combine this information with research and one should be able to invest wisely.
Picture is for illustration purpose only
One also comes across the term ‘investment artist’ often. I feel that this is a much abused term and happens to be a very convenient phrase to sell art to unsuspecting buyers. That is why it is so important to empower yourself with knowledge about art. It not only helps you in making decisions regarding what to buy but it also enriches your life. One is able to better understand art in context with its times and relate to abstract concepts, as well.
Another great way to enhance knowledge is by visiting art exhibitions, the more one looks at art the more one connects with it.
(Published in Bangalore Mirror)