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Art Investment

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Why Buy Art?

There are many reasons why people buy Art or embrace it as a part of their lifestyle.

There are usually the different reasons for art lovers to buy Art. The strongest motivation for them is if they can relate to a certain piece of Art. E.g. As a child they had the same experience as that depicted in the work and were able to relate to it the moment he saw it and understood the concept behind it. It’s a very personal decision for an individual based on their interpretation and liking. Many of us buy Art for Nostalgic reasons. A certain painting takes us back in time reminds us of experiences we have lived. An artwork grows on you with time and every time you visit it, fills you with wonder, nostalgia and amazes you into the mind of its creator, which in turn gradually becomes one of your priced possessions. The best part to acquire art is it appreciates in due time. E.g. Original, Authentic Art from our ancestors is also inherited, each with its own meaning in time, place, having a unique history and story behind it, much priceless.

Many buy pictures of Calligraphic inscriptions, animal forms, landscapes, figurative paintings because the images mirror their own taste, heritage or reflect their own values, moods and atmosphere in some way. The biggest reason one is drawn to a work of art and makes the decision to purchase it is because it makes a connection with one’s own life. That in part explains why so much of the art in the market refer to literal experience. There is a big demand for them and the artists who create them help us to make those connections.

At the other end of the spectrum are those artists who have turned to some form or other of abstraction, attempting to express or interpret certain ideas, qualities, feelings or mood. Often they work in highly personal styles, emphasizing self-expression and individual identity. This has created amazing diversity but sometimes quite a job for the viewer to “get it”. Generally, the more technically skilled and creative the artist is, the better he or she will be able to communicate those abstract notions to a wider audience. This simplified description applies to much of what is today termed “Modern Art”.


Whether you are a casual buyer of art, buying to decorate, or building a collection, it is important that you understand what you are buying and know if you are getting value for your money. I would like to define this into two broad categories of affordability depending upon individual taste, mainly ORIGINAL art and REPRODUCTION.

Galleries, Dealers and practicing Artists all over the world always stress upon the fact that for whatever reason one chooses to acquire an artwork, one must identify its authenticity. Make sure it is 100% original and not its fake reproduction. Talking first about ORIGINAL ART, for example, about an oil painting on canvas, an acrylic painting on canvas or paper, a mixed media painting on board, a pastel or charcoal drawing, a collage, sculpture or any of a number of media that involves the creation of a work of art by hand. The term, “by hand” more essentially defines original art. We can generally expect to pay premium price for an original work. The artist spends many years learning and honing his craft as well as building a career and a reputation, often at great sacrifice.

All of that plus the creative energy and time spent creating the particular work factor into the value and the price of the work. The biggest determining factor, however, is the recognition of the artist. There are certain “blue chip” artists such as M.F.Hussain, Raza, Angolie Ela Menon and so on, whose original work is out of the reach (budget wise for the passion of collecting art) of most of us. There are ‘mid-career’ or emerging artists on solid career paths whose original work may still be within your reach, if we are in the collecting mode.
And then there’s several “generic” type of oil paintings available in the market that are very inexpensive. They are often the work of unknown artists or so-called ‘starving artists’, many working under assumed names.


There has been the emergence recently of certain multi-level art marketing operations that specialize in mass produced oil paintings and canvas transfers that resemble oil paintings. Some of these paintings are recreations of, or variations on, existing works by well known Artists painted in an assembly-line type situation by hourly paid artists. These are priced purely as a product cheap depending on framing. They are fine for decorating but they will not hold any value over and above what was paid for them and they will never appreciate in value. Also broadly termed as ‘Fake’ of an original art.


A reproduction is a duplication of an original work of art. Most reproductions are created using a commercial printing process known as offset printing. As a buyer or a first time investor it is important, to make the distinction between original print and offset print, and more importantly, to know the difference. These have no appreciation value; they are collectible mainly for their aesthetic value, its meaning and pleasure they bring to the buyer. They are inexpensive to produce and the printing process lends itself to large editions (that is, the total number of prints produced). Typically the artist will produce anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 each time, with the possibility of future reprints. These are known in the business as “open edition” prints.


Art you invest in today will build its value depending upon your taste of selection and I hereby conclude by stating that let your investment be in pure and simple enjoyment in order to enhance your lifestyle!

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