Confessions of a Shopaholic’ was a movie that warned viewers about the repercussions of buying anything on impulse. Procuring art without educating yourself about it beforehand could land you a bad deal. You may end up having some mediocre art that could cost you a fortune. By putting some intelligent efforts you might understand how the art market operates. So, research your way through the catacombs of the complex art world before you buy Indian art next time.

We can’t appreciate the beauty of a work that we don’t understand. Similarly, running behind big names is not going to do you any good. A traditional Indian painting by a folk artist may suit the ambience of your traditional house more than any digital or contemporary art paintings.

According to ‘The Paradox of Choice’ by famous American Psychologist Barry Schwartz, people often end up buying nothing due to indecision when they are offered a variety of options. The buyers, especially the novices, need to narrow down their options according to their tastes and wants. Works of art are not just commodities, they reflect upon your personality a lot. It becomes imperative for art collectors to overcome the inability of indecision caused by a wide array of choices.

Here are some tips to help buyers out of the catacombs of anxiety and procure a wonderful piece of art for your home.

1.  Beguiled by an unconventional artefact!

“A picture is a poem without words”


It is as clear as anything that some decisions should be taken by heart. Always go for a painting that evokes feelings and stirs the soul. Visit art galleries and art exhibitions of all types. Try to sense what a painting or a sculpture is trying to explain or convey. An expert may give you advice but it is the gut feeling that makes you feel positive about traditional and contemporary art paintings.

If you get a feeling that you may find it difficult to live without the artwork, this is the art you want to have. The purpose of art is to evoke feelings and convey truth.

2.  Caveat Emptor! Buyers get beware of fake artwork!

We must keep our eyes open for fake art. Ask for original documents for authentication. Buy artwork when you are a hundred percent sure that what you are buying is original. Sometimes, you may find a work that belongs to a famous painter but the prices are unbelievably low. It doesn’t mean that the artwork in itself is fake. Some artists allow their juniors to create a piece of work and fill colors in them and sign them off as theirs.

Make inquiries whether the artwork is being sold for the first time or it is being put for resale. If an original artwork belongs to a famous artist and you are getting it at cheap rates, publish a notice in a newspaper to prove you’re bonafide and to find if there are any other hereditary claims or rights against the owner of that painting.  So, inquire about every aspect before you buy Indian art. It is your prerogative to ensure authenticity. Many art galleries and other market places provide a certificate of authentication for artworks they sell.

3.  Artwork need not be too imposing or too tiny to get noticed!

Make sure that the artwork you are buying shall not occupy more space than needed. It need not be too imposing and emphatic. The spatial dimensions are needed to be in consonance with the dimension of the artwork you are planning to plant there. For example, installing miniature painting on the walls of a big hall meant for festive gatherings may not be a very good decision.  You need to have a pragmatic approach while selecting artwork for home and office spaces.

The source and nature of light space get are also to be considered. A space that doesn’t get any natural light may not be good for an abstract by Rabin Mondal. However, a bright Landscape by Paresh Maity may work wonders there. You may also adjust the lighting and tone accordingly if space is in the interiors of your home. A hallway is apt for installing artwork with light themes. A thoughtful painting in there may not work wonders you brought it for.

Some art galleries provide services to buyers and art collectors to help them to decide if the chosen artwork would fit in their space. They lend paintings and sculptures to get installed at the desired location to see whether the piece of art would be appropriate for the place they want to put it in.

4.  Can you take care of your artwork?

Sculptures made in mediums like steel, bronze, and other hard material may not need any proper care and precaution except periodical dusting. But, paintings such as oil and watercolor may need some extra attention. A work of art is not made to last forever. Its grandeur and glory slowly fade away. Oil paintings on canvas last long and watercolor fade away fast. For this reason, oil on canvas paintings is the most expensive. Still, there are many precaution one need to take. Make sure oil paintings are not installed in a place where they can receive direct sunlight. It may get the color to chip and flake.

Watercolor on paper may get torn or lose its sheen after some time. According to Aqdas Tatli, founder, Indian Art Consultants (IAC) and member of the 2010 Škoda Prize Advisory Board, “One has to be especially careful with a delicate medium like watercolor,” as reported by Livemint on April 23rd 2013.

5.  A little education won’t hurt!

There are fewer chances to make a bad decision when you are updated and vigilant. You may take insights from online art galleries and blogs that are published on them from time to time to follow what is trending in the art market both nationally and internationally. Visiting art exhibitions and galleries are going to boost your knowledge potentially. Take subscriptions of leading art magazines and newsletters like Art India, The Art Newspaper, Take on Art, etc. to keep tabs on the art market. Some institutions like Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum of Mumbai have courses and diplomas for the appreciation of art and culture.


So, there are many hurdles that you may want to pass but for that, you will have to make sincere efforts. Remember, artists express themselves through art, make sure that art expresses you too before you buy Indian art!