Showing posts with label How to Buy Art. Show all posts
Showing posts with label How to Buy Art. Show all posts

25 Mar 2016

Guide: The Fine Art of Buying

Art is a visual investment, and as a medium has the ability to alter the aesthetics of the environment 

Buying your first work of art can be intimidating and perhaps, also perplexing. How does one decide which artist’s work to buy or where to buy it from? Similarly, there are questions related to style, genre, medium, size and of course, the price of the artwork. These can all add further to the confusion. So, here are a few tips to guide you towards selecting and buying an artwork.
Guide: The Fine Art of Buying, art buying tips, Art Scene India

Empower yourself

The first step is to visit a few art galleries to see the works that are displayed there, and consider what engages you - which works do you feel aesthetically, emotionally and intellectually drawn to? Notice your reaction to the works displayed and this will give you an indication of the kind of works that you relate to. Visualize these on your walls now and consider if you would like to look at them over and over again. Remember that art is a long term investment and that is very unlikely that you would purchase a new work of art for your living room every couple of months.

The next step is to look up online galleries and browse through images to learn more about various genres, styles and corresponding prices. Again, this will give you a sense of the kind of art which engages you, as well as direct you to artists whose works you like.

Guide: The Fine Art of Buying, art buying tips, Art Scene IndiaMake sure, you do this only after you have visited and viewed art galleries, since the physicality of viewing art is an important step in understanding its nuances, for instance the tactility of the medium, use of pigments and materials, textural quality and the dimensionality of the artwork are evident only when you stand before it. In fact, also visit artist studios and interact with artists whenever possible. This will facilitate an understanding of processes, and materials and media.

In parallel, read up on articles to know more about artists and current exhibitions. It will give you a sense of art trends, popular artists and will cultivate familiarity with the language used in describing art. This will also help you in understanding text accompanying art, which in turn offers insights into the work.

Set a budget

It is important to set aside a budget for art so that there is clarity on the amount that you are willing to invest in art. It would be advisable to begin with a small amount, perhaps in the Rs 20,000 - 50,000 range, which allows you to gain confidence in the initial period of learning. You could consider buying works by upcoming artists as these are likely to be in the affordable range. You could also purchase limited edition prints, drawings and watercolours, which are generally priced lower, in comparison to oils and acrylics.

Following these steps will ensure you learn about art and the art market, enabling you to make the right choices when it comes to buying for your home. Even if you are buying art at your interior decorator’s advice, take the time to be personally involved.

Art is a visual medium of expression, which can be used creatively to complement home interiors. It is a visual investment, and as a medium has the ability to alter the aesthetics of the environment completely and as you learn more about its finer aspects, you can incorporate both style and substance in your home interiors.

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14 Aug 2013

10 Tips for Buying Art

Very often people are hesitant about buying art for the fist time.  Not only is there a hesitancy in entering a gallery premises but there is an overall sense of awe and apprehension when considering the entire process of buying art.  Clients wonder if it is all right to purchase a single artwork, should they negotiate on the price or is it going to be embarrassing! Then there are questions about where should the buy from and would they be able to resell it when required.  Also, there are doubts regarding how to go about buying art for the sake of starting a collection, should they consider it as a financial investment or should they only consider enhancing aesthetics from an interior decor perspective.

image courtesy PhotoIndia

 Research on Art

  1. One of the first things to do before buying art is to empower yourself by reading up on art, visiting local art galleries, meeting artists and other people who are actively involved in this field.  Talk to artists, consultants and curators to get insights about the functioning of the art market and to also network with like-minded people. 
  2. Find out about current trends, read about exhibitions and reviews, and try to get a sense of the art market, prices and resale options. 
  3. Look at images and artworks to get an idea about the kind of art that you prefer.  Are you inclined towards traditional paintings, contemporary art or perhaps experimental art?  It helps to be clear about what you enjoy and what kind of art engages you.
  4. Next find out about reputed galleries and dealers.  Visit galleries to see how comfortable you feel while interacting with them.  If you are planning to buy art from an online source, find out about safe and credible sites who deliver authentic works. Check with galleries if there is a buy back clause or if they will help you in reselling at a future date.
  5. Get familiar with provenance and authenticity and all the necessary precautions that you must take to ensure you buy an original artwork which is authentic.

Why are you buying?

  1. I find that it is also important to establish your reasons for buying art – is it to cover up a vacant wall or floor space, is it a part of your investment portfolio or do you want to start building an art collection?  It helps in deciding the kind of art that you should buy and also in planning a budget for it.
  2. It is always a good idea to begin in a small way and put in only a small amount of money in the artwork initially.  You could then see how you feel about the entire process, how the artwork engages you and how confident you feel about investing larger sums in art.  


  1. Perhaps the most important criterion, allocate a budget for art and put in sufficient effort to stay within it.  It is often easy to get carried away and spend much more than you had initially intended.
  2. Decide if you are going to spend small sums over a period of time or whether it is going to be a one-time investment for you. 
  3. Do make sure that it is only a small percentage of your disposable income and not a portion of your primary investment portfolio.
 Photograph by Norm Clasen, image courtesy PhotoIndia

One of the major reasons why it is advised to buy art that you enjoy is that unlike any other asset class, art has a distinct advantage where it can engage you intellectually and emotionally.  It is not just another piece of paper in which you have invested but has the potential to enrich your life and affect the ambiance of your surroundings.