1 Apr 2011

Innovations in art: Mixed media paintings growing popular



These days, many artists are moving away from traditional media such as oil and acrylic on canvas or watercolours, and are experimenting and innovating with various materials. Mixed media paintings or installations have become the in-thing and are increasingly growing in popularity. These are exciting to view and often feature creative uses of different materials to present the concept.

However, for the buyer, it is important to verify or at least be aware of the materials, which have been used as part of the artwork. This will give an idea as to whether these will maintain status quo, or if there is a probability that one or more of the materials could decompose, decay or rust, change colour or texture due to oxidation or reduction based on environmental conditions.

While some of these changes may be desirable (adding interesting dimensions to texture or patina), those that affect the monetary worth of the artwork could be unwelcome. In fact, there might be instances where one may not be able to foresee some of the changes that may happen in the future. Over the years, a lot of research has taken place to improve the quality of paints, pigments and canvases to ensure that they are longer lasting.

But when artists use 'different' and new materials, which are not as common in artworks, there has to be a conscious effort made towards ensuring the longevity of the product. This could be done either by treating these materials appropriately or by substituting them with similar but hardier materials. Therefore, while it might be exciting to view artworks made out of interesting materials, as a buyer, one needs to be aware of their condition and expected lifespan.

Fortunately, just as many painters have adopted the use of finest quality materials in their paintings, most new media artists too put in a lot of effort in using the best quality materials. Still, as a buyer, there is no harm in being aware and then taking an informed decision.

(Published in Financial Times)
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