Saturday, October 17, 2009

AEI brings to the fore value of art as an investment avenue

All doubts regarding the long term benefits of including art in one’s investment portfolio were dispelled at AEI. The focus clearly was on working out and fine-tuning the buying strategy to achieve twin goals of accumulating quality art and holding it to reap the rewards.

Even global art world is looking with great hope at contemporary Indian art. Sample this essay titled ‘Masterpieces of contemporary Indian art’ in the Economist magazine that mentions how Indian art is enjoying boom driven by the ambitions of a newly rich—often fabulously rich—generation of non-resident Indians.

The essay states: “Scant attention was paid to modern Indian art until the end of the 1990s. Many contemporary Indian painters, though, are still too derivative to interest international buyers for whom the subcontinent remains an exotic travel destination rather than a font of originality, vision and drive. That has not stopped prices for the best Indian work rising twenty-fold or more since 2000, particularly for leading artists, and this looks like a market with a long way to run. Indian buyers have become especially adept at spotting paintings on the Internet and tracking prices at hundreds of art-gallery and auction websites around the world.”

One worthy piece of advice that the above essay offers is to look beyond the headline-catching prices, affordable by only the very few, and understand that it is possible to find talented artists with works of cheaper price tags, still of exceptional quality. The precondition is to be prepared to put in the effort to find them.

Another key to be a successful investor is to work out your approach towards collecting art. This implies understanding what type of a buyer you are. There are two broad types of buyers in the art market. There’s a category of buyers for whom the idea is to buy art purely to harness their passion and love for art. In this case, fascination and fondness for art inadvertently results in adding color and richness to one’s precious portfolio.

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