JULY 2018
Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida

Art Collecting for Beginners

By Brinda Pamulapati

Progress of waiting – artist Mark Messersmith,
oil on canvas with pediment and predella, 110" x 84"

It takes years to become an art collector. Art collecting is a pure passion and, similar to art creating, may become an obsession.

There are two main benefits from buying art. First, you can enjoy looking at it every day. Your house gets a unique vibration and aesthetic look when you hang an original work of art. For this reason, you should buy art that speaks to you.

The second benefit is that the artwork might become an investment. A carefully chosen piece may increase in value. Art bought in a general store is unlikely to have a resale value, but if you invest the same amount in a signed print or painting, it may appreciate over time. The longer you keep an original work of art, the greater its value.

There are a few tips you may consider when buying art as an investment. If you are collecting art for the first time, you should do your homework, just as you would when buying property or a car. Research the artist by questioning the art dealer or gallerist and by reading the artist’s website or online biography. Look for information from galleries, museums, auction houses and other collectors. Be wary of hyperbolic language versus facts in the descriptions of the artist and his or her work. When reviewing write-ups, books, catalogues, and other publications that mention the artist, focus on facts.

The more credibility an artist has, the more valuable the work of art. There are many factors that grant credibility to an artist, such as a record of solo or group shows, awards and recognitions, publications by or about the artist, and well-known or reputable owners of that artist’s other works. The number of years an artist has been creating and the number of shows the artist has had speak to the passion of the artist and make the original art a promising investment. A piece of art that has been shown in a gallery, featured in the news or in magazines, and won accolades has more weight than art by the same artist that has remained in the studio.

Once you find artists with developed creative abilities and unique compositions, continue to watch their evolution over the course of the artist’s careers and invest in galleries who represent these kinds of artists.

Summer storm blue – artist Mark Messersmith,
oil on canvas with pediment and predella, 77" x 65"

When you acquire a work of art, make sure the artist has signed and dated it, on either the front, back, or both. A print is valid only if it has the original artist’s signature and is limited edition. Try to compile information about the artist’s shows and biography, and save any certificate of authenticity for — or relevant published articles about — the purchased art. Such information will help in your long-term commitment to building a collection. Documentation is a must for establishing the authenticity, ownership and value of a piece of art.

Brinda Pamulapati, owner/managing director, of Venvi Art Gallery in Tallahassee, can be reached at (850) 322-0965 or visit www.VenviArtGallery.com

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