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How Art Thou?

Friday, March 04, 2016

We appreciate art, but it can be an expensive investment that requires a good deal of research. Pooja Salvi & Purva Indulkar tell you what you need to know before you buy artwork for your space

The right artwork can help accentuate and embellish your space, and while everyone wants to decorate their homes with eye-catching pieces, picking good art can be tricky. This is a task generally left to art connoisseurs, but buying art has never been easier — with artists selling their creations directly on a number of platforms online as well as through art galleries and pop-ups, it’s no longer exclusive or unattainable. However, you need to know a few things before you head out to buy art for your home.

How to get started
Do your research

The art world is an overwhelming space, so your first step should be to familiarise yourself with it. Checking online is only going to tell you who the most popular artists are on social media, but popularity is no guarantee of good quality. So, instead of relying solely on your Twitter feed to get you in touch with fellow art-lovers, join an art collective. This way, you can get in touch with curators, museum officials and even local artists. This will also help you to develop your own taste, so that when you  finally choose to invest in a painting, you’ll know exactly you want.

Quality matters
Your budget plays a big role in deciding what you will ultimately hang on your bedroom wall, and even if you have a tight budget, we recommend buying one or two good pieces — choose quality over quantity. Over time, certain items lose their artistic appeal, becoming simply decorative pieces. Since art is usually an investment, buying a good painting today could fetch you a small fortune in the future. However, not all paintings increase in value over time, so be careful when you’re buying expensive pieces. This is another reason why quality over quantity makes sense.

Don’t overspend
If you thought buying a painting was an expensive affair, wait till you hear about the cost of maintaining one! If you’ve shelled out big bucks on an original painting or sculpture, it’s a one-of-a-kind piece. Most of these unique items are sensitive to light and have to be kept away from direct sunlight or protected by glass that blocks UV rays. If these costs are unmanageable, we recommend buying drawings, photographs or prints.

Look at editions
If you’re not looking to shell out big bucks, you can consider buying editions. These are multiples of a particular piece that is produced by an artist. Since there are so many similar pieces around the world, the asking price is much lower than it would be with an original one. Limited editions of coveted paintings make even the best artists available to you, but fair warning: many other people could have the same painting on their walls.

Where to buy your art
One of the advantages of the internet is that it gives you access to a variety of art at very affordable prices. Traditional artwork that was created decades ago is often priced at a premium. If you’re no art connoisseur (be honest!) and all you want is to make your house look beautiful, here is a list of places where you can get good artwork.

  • DecorStory
  • Saffron Art
  • Tilting Art Gallery
  • www.icustommadeit.com
  • FabFurnish
  • PepperFry

Rules for discerning

Saiprasad Jana, who has curated exhibitions for several art galleries including Jehangir Art Gallery, Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery and Ravindra Natya Mandir Art Gallery, tells us, “The first thing to keep in mind when buying art is to make sure that it is worth the investment. Check the artist’s profile properly, do your research on their academic background as well as the potential for re-sale. This will help a lot when buying.”

Kanika Bawa, sculptor and art installation artist, suggests that your first piece of art should reflect your personality and add a touch of positivity to your life. She explains, “Your first art pick must be happy, optimistic and should have depth and integrity as its key idea, since you will be looking at it literally every moment — it will be like a new family member! Art stirs up emotions and you should make sure that the piece you pick gives you nothing but positive vibes.”

Taking care
Payal Shah and Bindal Shah of Artezvous give us a few tips on taking care of your art. They tell us that any repairs on your artwork should be done only by a professional. “But, don’t let restoration go to the extent of spoilage. Care should be taken to examine the wall where a painting will be hung. It should free from leakage and dampness. These simple things affect the longevity of the art,” they add.

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