There is no denying that there is a lot of interest in art these days. There are a number of new entrants in the form of galleries, dealers, curators and of course artists on the scene. Also, there are a number of people now who are buying art for the first time and find themselves at a loss when it comes to deciding about the artwork itself. They find themselves wondering what to buy, where to buy from, is the pricing fair, while facing a hundred other dilemmas.
One of the most important things when it comes to buying art is to make sure that you always buy from credible sources. It is imperative to set aside a budget and determine whether you are looking at buying art as a one time option or are you considering making art a part of your investment portfolio. In the latter case, you might be looking at buying several pieces spread out over a longer period of time. Very few people indulge in impulsive buys, unless the work is really affordable, but even then it helps to set aside an amount dedicated to art. In case, you are buying art to diversify your investment portfolio it might be advisable to consult a financial or investment advisor who is knowledgeable about art.
If you are visiting an art gallery either to buy or just to look at art, you need not be intimidated by the staff or the gallery ambience and make sure you ask all the right and relevant questions which can help you garner information regarding the artwork, the artist and his/her antecedents. Incidentally, people are a lot friendlier now than they were earlier, making it easier for the buyer. It is also perfectly normal to not make an on the spot judgment but to come back with an informed decision.
The track record of the artist for the last five years at the minimum can offer some insight into his/her price growth and overall demand. However, if you are in doubt then do not hesitate to take expert help, someone with the right credentials and who you can trust with your money is a good advisor.
(Published in Financial Times)