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Khula Aasmaan has a special focus on the underprivileged, rural, tribal, remote communities and children with special needs. Click here to participate. Painting by Amita Rajender Saroya. Painting by Dighi Banerjee. Painting by Keya Potkar.

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What Kind Of Art Sells? Tips For Artists

There are many types of art a new investor might explore. Novices tend to automatically think of paintings, but art spans a wide variety of media, styles, and classifications. There are a few more types of art that might also be considered, initiating heated debate among purists. The key to making a determination, however, is in the creators of the work. Are they artists or craftspeople? Is the work in question a one-of-a-kind piece, or are there several in existence?

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Generally, production potters and glassblowers are not considered artists — there is nothing unique in the pieces they produce. Some, however, use these media exclusively to create unique works, have gained a certain amount of fame doing so, and are by and large considered artists. Original works are the most highly valued pieces in the art world, but even a copy can be worth something. To know if your copy will appreciate in value, you have to be armed with certain knowledge.

Starting an art collection for investment purposes is a big step. Before you even think about what, where, or how to buy, you need to consider a few things if you want to maximize your upside.

Buy and sell art and collectibles

Also, note the difference between the primary and secondary markets. Artwork being sold on the primary market means that it has never been seen or sold before, generating buzz among art enthusiasts. By contrast, the secondary market refers to artwork that has been sold before.

Research the Artist Generally, an artist with an interesting back story tends to generate more interest among buyers. For a more in-depth understanding of the artist, an online search can turn up quite a bit more. Research the Artwork Before you buy a piece for your collection, a thorough understanding of it is paramount. First on your list should be the question of its authenticity. Proving this is not difficult if the artist is still alive. However, if the artist is deceased, it can be problematic.

The best way to protect yourself is to obtain a certificate of authenticity from an expert, preferably the foremost authority on the artist. Next on your list should be obtaining a thorough appraisal of the piece in question. If a work of art is damaged or substantially restored, it can affect its value greatly. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to estimate the cost of a good appraisal. It depends on the piece, the period, the expertise of the appraiser, and other factors.

Investigate the Dealer Whenever anyone buys a work of art, the reputation of the source should be open to extreme scrutiny. The confidentiality of the art market can make it very difficult to know the reputation of some dealers and brokers, especially the smaller ones. Researching the reputability of a gallery can be much easier. They feature their top artists, and information on past exhibits can be found on their websites and through word-of-mouth. Auction data and marketing hype are other traps to be wary of.

The data that auctions and galleries provide can be skewed because the professional appraisal of a piece can vary depending on demand at the time of sale.


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Also, marketing hype is something prevalent in the art world, and first-time buyers are extremely susceptible. Judge each piece for its own merits. If this is something you do not have the time for, you may as well buy into an art fund or consider some other form of investment. An art investment fund, similar to a mutual fund , engages in the buying and selling of works of art for profit. However, many art investment funds charge hefty management, storage, and insurance fees that can eat into your profits.

In many cases, the question of where to buy art can be as important as how to buy.

How to Invest in Art - Types, Pros & Cons, Buying & Selling

Would you rather pay a set price, or would you enjoy bidding for a bargain at an auction? Is a small dealer who caters to individual tastes the better choice, or should you browse the galleries? The answers depend on your objectives, and they could make a big difference in price. An auction is an exciting place to be, especially when two or more bidders want the same piece — but make sure not to get caught up in the moment.


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  4. If you want a piece because you truly love it, a higher price may be justified. However, if you are a collector or investor, be sure to weigh price, value, and condition, and adjust your bid accordingly. Professional art investors try to completely cut out emotion and proceed with a calculating, business-like demeanor. The best way to find an auction close to you is by searching the Internet. Compared to an auction, a gallery is a much more relaxed environment to view, evaluate, and decide on your purchases.

    Some galleries focus mainly on the primary market, dealing with newer artists. Other galleries tend to focus on the secondary market, reselling artwork without necessarily having any ties to the artists themselves. Many galleries do both. Art galleries are also unique in that they frequently work with artists, helping them grow, building up an inventory of their work, and assisting them as they try to realize their potential. A fair can be a good place for the novice to develop an eye for art. There is something for everyone, no matter their level of expertise. At art fairs you can browse, mingle with other art lovers, ask questions of the experts, compare prices, and evaluate.

    And, some of the offerings can rival works sold at the most prestigious galleries and auctions. Find dates for local fairs in the art section of your local newspaper, or search the Internet for calendars. Aside from the obvious activities such as doing research, viewing gallery websites, and networking with other collectors, artwork is being bought and sold on the Internet in astounding numbers these days. Elimination of the high overhead of galleries and auction houses is an added benefit of purchasing online.

    Before handling your works of art, make sure your hands are clean and dry, and remove any jewelry. It is also a good idea to handle only one piece at a time, rather than to carry a stack of paintings all together. Pick up a painting firmly from both sides of the frame, avoiding the painted surfaces. This could cause the canvas to stretch or tear. Without applying any pressure, first brush in one direction completely.

    Then repeat in another direction until fully dusted. Do not dust if the paint is cracked or flaking. In addition, the environment where a painting is displayed can lead to dust and dirt accumulating, thus degrading the image. Be sure to store it in a dry place of moderate temperature. If significant cleaning is called for, hire a professional to evaluate and do the job, and never use any chemical or ordinary kitchen cleaners. Remember, the pieces in your collection may be worth a fortune in the future, and the slightest bit of damage can have a significant impact on their value.

    When storing your collection, keep it out of direct sunlight, away from damp areas such as cellars and basements, and far from heat sources such as fireplaces and boilers. The more you can shield artwork from frequent and harsh temperature swings, the better. Also, the best way to store multiple paintings for long periods at a time is in a painting rack. This can prevent physical contact among the paintings, greatly reducing the chances of damage. Selling your art, whether individually or as an entire lot, can be as demanding and time-consuming as originally starting the collection.

    Also, you must take into consideration how much commission a particular venue charges.


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    Shopping around could significantly raise your bottom line. The advantage dealers and galleries have over other venues is their network of clients. They may actually be able to expedite a direct sale quietly and discretely. Auction houses, on the other hand, charge a much higher commission. Also, a sale at an auction house is a public event, revealing the buyer, seller, and price of the piece. Another venue you may choose to explore is the Internet.