14 Oct 2008

How to choose art by an upcoming artist

(Nalini S Malaviya)

Now that there is a lot of focus on upcoming artists and young talent, one sees many art exhibitions by artists who either debut with it or are in their second or third show. Most art galleries are now promoting such artists aggressively, and it then becomes difficult for the buyer to evaluate the investment potential of such artists. In any case one must remember that it is very difficult to predict the investment value of an artist who does not have a proven track record. It becomes very important, then, that the buyer consider all aspects related to the artist’s future prospects.

One must take into consideration the artist’s qualifications, awards, if any, and the technical aspects of his artistic skills. One can also look at the creative potential which will be reflected in the concept and execution. Innovation and ideation play an extremely important role in contemporary art. For instance, there are artists who come up with a brilliant concept but fail to present it effectively, and then there are times when an artist has nothing new to say. The novelty of an idea combined with effective expression is a much desired and extremely sought after quality. If the artist has held shows previously, one can check out which galleries or venues were involved.
Anand Bekwad
These days what is also becoming important is the credentials of the gallery backing the artist. A good and reputed art gallery will promote their artists at national and international levels, which can affect the artist’s career and investment value enormously. However, there are many collectors and buyers who go with their gut instinct and tend to buy works they can emotionally connect to. Although, this may seem like an old fashioned approach to new buyers, but many collectors swear by it, and this method has worked extremely well for them. Experienced art collectors develop an intuitive feel for the quality and value of art which instinctively draws them towards the right work. As investing in an upcoming artist’s work can pay rich dividends in the long run, one should spend time evaluating and analysing before buying it.

(Published in Financial Times)
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