22 Dec 2008

Use the time effectively

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

Due to the current economic recession, investors may find the art scene in a reduced state of activity. There are fewer art shows and events taking place, where most of the bigger exhibitions involving the top bracket of artists are being postponed. While, this is happening more with galleries based abroad but the effects can be seen in the country as well. Travel to art fairs has also been affected and galleries and artists are actively cutting down on expenses. Experts feel that the worst is yet to come and it may be a while before the art scene stabilizes.
However, all this does not mean that art connoisseurs should give up on art completely. There are many things than an investor can do to utilize the interim period effectively and to consolidate one’s collection.
Long term investors can continue to buy affordable art by young and upcoming artists. They should avoid selling wherever possible as this is a buyer’s market at the moment. By the same rule one can look out for good deals at competitive prices. A liquidity crunch can force collectors and dealers to offer attractive prices.
Investors should focus on making sure that their collection is safe and is maintained in a good condition. They could consider insuring their artworks if it hasn’t already been done. A large collection should always be catalogued and documented appropriately. It is important to maintain all documents related to the artworks as any loss of these can affect prices later on. Authenticity, provenance and sale receipts are some of the papers that one should keep safely. It is also a good idea to keep photocopies of these documents in a secure place.
If an investor needs to sell now then one should look for a buyer discretely. Incidentally, premium and rare works are continuing to fetch a good price provided one can find the right buyer.
It is important to utilize the interim period to build a network with other art connoisseurs. The art community is a fairly close knit one, and very often transactions and dealings happen through word of mouth. Recommendations and references are useful to have.
If one is making any fresh investment then research is very important at this stage. Watch out for the not so good quality works that may be available in the market.
The slowdown is likely to continue for the next couple of years, therefore it is vital that one does not let it affect one’s financial and mental health. It is a good time to review ones art collection to see which works should be kept and which ones should be sold off later.
One should continue to visit art shows and keep in touch with the latest happenings. Most galleries plan to continue with their art shows in order to keep the interest in art alive. Good deals are available now, and if one’s wallet allows, buy.
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