22 Jul 2009

Reasons for buying art

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

In the last few years awareness about art has increased substantially, and these days, most people are familiar with artist’s names, local galleries and prominent auction houses as events, art shows and auction reports are widely publicized in the media.
The number of people who are buying art has also grown with time, although their reasons for owning it might be different. Most people still buy art for dressing their walls – to match the sofa or a particular wall colour. However, the budget that is utilized for this particular purpose is usually limited and is generally well under a lakh. The buyer, here, focuses primarily on colours and aesthetics. The major draw in this case is pleasant portraits or colourful abstracts. Then there are buyers who are more aware and maybe slightly more experimental in their choice. They may opt for line drawings or limited edition prints, but generally choose works by better known artists. But here, too, the emphasis is on complementing interiors with art.

Another segment of buyers are drawn towards big names and for them trophy art is a way to impress their peers. It goes without saying that money is no object for this category of buyers.
Then there are buyers who begin collecting in a small way and then find themselves unable to resist the next painting that appeals to them. Before they realize it, their walls and closets are overflowing with art and yet they cannot make themselves stop. To indulge in an expensive hobby such as collecting art, it is obvious that ones finances must be in extremely good shape.

The last segment of buyers is those that have an analytical and precise approach to buying art. They survey trends, go through catalogues, check price curves diligently before coming to a decision. Their main purpose is to ensure that they have made a sound financial investment.

Well, whatever may be the reason for buying art, the fact remains that it is good for the art market in general.

(Published in Financial Times)

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