Nurturing A ‘Palette’ For Art
Art, poetry and music – these are some of the finer pursuits of mankind. Through them, we experience culture - a range of uplifting emotions and a deeper connection with the world around us. We are transformed and transported.
This is especially true of art. You can add a dash of colour and character, bring elegance and beauty, and add a new dimension to enhance an otherwise ordinary space. But more than just its visual appeal, you can make art a sustainable and rewarding quest too.
There is so much to buying and enjoying art. As a hobby, your art collection can bring you tremendous joy and satisfaction. As a lifestyle purchase, it can enhance the quality of your life and the aesthetics of your home or workplace. it can be a home improvement project. It can be that signature touch or personal expression that makes any house YOUR home.
Art can be an investment, but there are numerous risks and you should be aware of them. The art marketplace is still in its infancy and the subject of art itself is extremely subjective. In many cases, it is a “passion” investment that doesn’t necessarily yield results. So, it’s best to take it with a pinch of salt.
Here in this week’s blog post, we discuss what it takes to nurture a ‘palette’ for art. Giving you a glimpse of the emerging Australian Indigenous art scene. Shedding light on the practices and pitfalls. And, covering what they don’t tell you about the risks of investing in art.
Interest in art
Let’s start with some good news - contrary to what many people think, access to art isn’t restricted to only the very affluent and rich folk. Art is accessible and it is possible to buy and collect art within your own means and budget.
Building a repertoire, however, requires more than just access. You need a fine eye for detail and a deep understanding of the many styles and techniques. People spend considerable time refining and cultivating their interest before taking the plunge.
The selection is vast and no matter where you arrive, you’ll have some incredible options. You could buy artworks by emerging artists with a promise, acquire classic pieces by recognised maestros or simply purchase art that catches your fancy.
Buying works by masters and legends can be tricky, requiring access to exclusive auction houses and shelling out the big bucks. Whereas, it is easier (and definitely more economical) to purchase artworks by relatively ‘unknown’ artists. There is a slight chance that they’ll be recognised by the mainstream and the value of your purchase may appreciate.
The risks involved
As we discussed earlier, the art market is governed by different factors. And for this reason and more, art may not necessarily be subject to the same risks as other types of investments.
For example, lack of liquidity is a serious challenge for art and unless and until the conditions are extremely favourable art cannot be liquidated with ease. It gets tougher when things head south and owners of expensive artworks are usually forced to hang onto their pieces until the market recovers again.
Here are a few other risks that make buying and investing in art a challenge:
Uncertainty of price and value: Each artwork is unique. Even artwork produced by the same artist can be valued differently. Certain styles of art can trend for a while and others for longer. It is often hard to determine the "true" value.
Issues of liquidity: While selling art, the margins between the seller’s cost and the final purchase price are low initially and the buyer could be required to hold on to an art piece for a while before the price appreciates enough to overtake the initial spend. Art experts suggest a minimum holding period of 10 years before liquidating art.
Highly unregulated marketplace: The art market has very little to no regulation. The value of art is arbitrary – each art gallery, consultant, or collector may place a different price tag on each artwork. And there is no institution for governance or an ownership registry where details can be verified.
The Australian Aboriginal art scene
Australia has an incredible selection of alluring art to offer! The collection housed at the National Gallery of Australia covers several distinctive art styles – unique to our culture, heritage and history.
Australian Indigenous art comes from what is considered the oldest and the most ancient cultures in the world (dating back to about 60,000 years ago). With its mesmerising, colourful and bold patterns, the art finds expression on a range of interesting mediums - from painted emu eggs and boab nuts, to "dot" paintings on canvas or textile, and even bark paintings.
Aboriginal art is gaining reputation and fame amongst art collectors worldwide. It is known for creating social impact and for spreading awareness on issues of cultural importance.
Insuring your art
It is a good idea to insure your art, especially if it is expensive and irreplaceable or if it is a part of your collection. (Remember, your homeowner’s insurance may not cover your fine art collection.) This way you are not only protecting your property against robbery and break-ins, but also safeguarding it against accidents such as ink blotches and wine stains.
As a first step in insuring your art, we suggest that you talk to an expert and get your documentation or "provenance" in order. The provenance is the necessary documentation to prove that the work of art belongs to you and its current worth and value. Provenance may include - photographs, transaction details and purchase history, details of the artist and records of your artwork’s origins.
Art is a rewarding pursuit. It captivates your senses and helps you delve deeper into yourself as well as into the world around you. It helps you explore and find your expression. It helps you reflect and reconnect. We hope you enjoy your pursuit of art in the most risk-free and extraordinary way!
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The information contained on this website and in this blog-post is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation or circumstance. It is recommended that you consider and use the information provided responsibly, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser.
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