14 Nov 2007

Investing in decor

Investing in art is always a long-term proposition. This asset class - it is perceived as one these days - is quite different from money market instruments or commodities for that matter. It involves aesthetics, preservation and a keen eye for potential. It is therefore essential to keep in mind a few facts about art before buying an artwork, if you have its investment aspect in mind.
To begin with, an artwork does not lie in a demat account. It will be displayed in your home or office for a few years. It is therefore absolutely essential that you like the piece you are buying, apart from its projected market value. This apart, it is also advisable to buy a ‘marketable artwork’, going by the current trend.

Another aspect that you need to keep in mind while buying an artwork is the artist himself. An upcoming but promising artist’s works will not be as expensive as an established and senior artist. Some knowledge about art will help as you can identify potential and buy works that will appreciate over time, at a good price. It is therefore necessary to study artists and read-up on reviews before buying an artwork.

Yet another factor you need to dwell on is the sort of work you are buying. Oil and acrylics on canvas cost a little more but are also likely to fetch higher returns when you resell them. A good frame will ensure the durability of the artwork as well. In addition, you need to take steps to protect your artwork adequately while on display at your place.

Many people buy an artwork, display it for a couple of years and sell it to buy another one. This way, they have a variety in their decor - workspace or home - and get a return on their investment too. While this is a good strategy, knowing some basics about art investments will ensure you make the right choice.

(Published in Financial Times)

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