How to add art to your décor

[] Buying artworks for the home, not only accentuates the home’s décor but can also be a lucrative investment and an asset, in the long run

While buying art, a simple thumb-rule to follow, is to only choose works that one likes, enjoys and feels comfortable seeing on the wall. “A novel approach is to embark on your artwork’s selection, before you have finalised the look of a space, so that the artwork can define the space, and the other aesthetic acquisitions conform to the selected piece,” says Rishiraj Sethi, director of Aura Art eConnect Pvt Ltd, a group company of Aura Art. To develop a judgment on the kind of artwork that appeals to you, one can visit galleries, museums, art fairs and browse through online art platforms that allow you to see a range of artworks across different artists, mediums, prices and themes, adds Sethi.

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A relatively safe way to buy art, is from galleries or art fairs. “However if one is buying online, then, the buyer should be more seasoned to be able to decide by looking at an image and most importantly, trust the source from which they are buying. Auctions are good places, to find rare works,” suggests Puneet Shah of Akara Art gallery, Mumbai.

Budget plays an important role, along with personal taste, age and the kind of home that one has. “Younger buyers tend to support contemporary artworks. If one is investing a substantial amount, then, it is safer to opt for works by established artists,” shares Shah.

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Never buy any artwork in a rush. The size of the work should never matter, as a small painting may appeal to you more than a big canvas. Buying through a trustworthy and knowledgeable source is important. Once you have decided upon a piece, establish the credentials of the artist. “Try to benchmark its price, with other comparable works by the artist. If the artist does not have a past sales record, then, check for other artists whose genre and style are similar to the work selected,” advises Sethi.

Before buying the piece, check for its authenticity and condition. “Ask for the authenticity certificate by the artist. If the work has changed hands, take into consideration the provenance of the artwork,” adds Sethi. Merely acquiring a piece of art, is not enough. It is equally important to display it in style and take proper care of the artwork.

[] Photographs, for a picture-perfect home décor

Tips to display and take care of art at home

  • Never hang artwork on a damp wall.
  • Always hang pictures at eye-level.
  • Ensure that direct sunlight does not fall on the artwork. Similarly, ensure that high intensity light from other sources, such as halogen bulbs, does not fall on the painting for a long duration.
  • Proper framing and mounting are also important, for longevity of the artwork, as well as visual appeal.
  • Works on paper are fragile. So, good quality mounting and framing is a must, for preserving it.
  • Do not clutter the walls. Ensure that there is enough space for each artwork to have its own identity.
  • Use a soft dry brush to dust the paintings.
  • Spray a glass cleaner onto a soft cloth to clean the glass.

Art as a wealth creation tool

(Information courtesy Rishiraj Sethi, director, Aura Art eConnect Pvt Ltd)

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Over time, art has emerged as an important asset class. Some of the wealthiest families in the world, foreign corporations, banks and heads of private equity funds have invested a significant part of their wealth in art. Baron Eric de Rothschild, chairman of Rothschild Private Banking and Trust, recommends keeping one-third of your assets in equities, one-third in real estate and one-third in art. The global art market is estimated to be worth over USD 60 billion.

China’s share of the art market rose from 8% in 2006 to 30% in 2011, pushing the United States, with 29%, into second place. India’s share is less than 1% of the global art market. While the top Indian artists have grown in value over the last decade, the highest-priced Indian painting (approximately USD 4 million for a Gaitonde) is only around 1.33% of the value of the highest-priced international painting (USD 300 million for a Paul Gauguin).

The entire Indian art market is estimated to be around USD 250-300 million. This, despite the fact that other asset values in India (realty, equity, etc.) compare favorably with the developed markets. Consequenty, there is significant headroom for the Indian art market to grow.


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Debora Berti

Università degli Studi di Firenze, IT

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