ART BUYING TIPS
Over the years, we have learned much about buying original Indian art from the perspectives of both client and gallerist. There is no correct way to collect art—the approach varies from person to person, but below are the best practices we recommend for all clients.
Educate yourself about Indian art
Indian art is extensive, with traditions and histories that can be traced back many centuries. Learn more by attending local art exhibitions, museums, artist talks or even art classes. There are plenty of such opportunities to engage with art in the San Francisco Bay Area, which we have outlined in our Resources page.
Learn about the artist and their work
Ask questions! An experienced gallerist should be able to answer your questions on the artist, including their credentials, history, creative process, the story behind their art and the condition of the painting. These are important aspects of the art buying process, and knowledge enhances the joy of living with art and supporting artists.
Buy what you love
Either you connect with a painting, or you don’t—if you are taking too long to make a decision, it might be best to let it go. The painting you buy will likely be with you for a while, so choose pieces you strongly connect with and love.
Save all receipts and records
Keep all authenticity certificates and invoices for your purchased artworks. Proper filing of these documents can prevent future confusion concerning damage, loss and value of the piece.
ART BUYING FOR BEGINNERS
Navigating the art world can feel especially daunting for new collectors, so we put together answers to some of the most common questions asked by first-time art buyers.
How do I decide what art to buy?
Before starting your collection, it is important to get to know your taste by exploring local and online galleries, reading about art and visiting museums. What resonates with you? Do you notice patterns in what you like — subject matter, color, style? Once you feel confident in your unique preferences, set a budget and start exploring the myriad options of artists and galleries.
How do I choose art for my home?
Buying art is best approached from the heart. Rather than looking for a work that matches your upholstery, carpet and furniture, look for something you love first. Then if it fits your aesthetics, dimensions of the space and budget, go for it. Alternatively, if you love a specific work but the size or color is not quite right, we can help with commissioning a similar piece. There is a painting out there that will be perfect for both you and your home.
Where can I buy high quality, genuine works of art?
Buy art from a reputable gallery that vets their artists and mindfully curates their collection. A gallery can also add value in many other aspects of the art buying process like providing an art advisory, referrals to professional framers and art installers, and making the overall process as smooth as possible.
Look for galleries (either physical or online) that offer a diverse collection of art for varying taste and price points. Read online reviews to check that the gallery has a good reputation, and always ask for proof of authenticity. Proof of authenticity can include artist signatures, certificates of authenticity, catalogues and even gallery invoices.
How do I buy art from a gallery?
Contact the gallery to express your interest and arrange a phone call or visit. Be upfront about your ideal themes, sizes, colors and budget so that the gallerist can suggest appropriate works. Ask questions about the art piece, as well as about shipping and any other additional costs.
If in doubt about a purchase, explore the possibility of hanging the painting in your home to see how it feels. At Laasya Art, we encourage our clients to ‘live with the art’ before finalizing their decision to buy.
How do I buy art online?
Much like buying art at a gallery, learn about the artist and their career as much as possible. Do verify the gallery’s legitimacy, either by exploring their online reviews or contacting them over the phone. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to bring them up.
When buying art online, it is particularly important to check dimensions of the piece and measure the intended hanging space. Here at Laasya Art, we offer video calls or recordings for remote clients to see the painting, so ask if this is possible. Finally, be sure to know the returns and refunds policy.
How is original art priced, and why is there such a wide range?
Professional artists make a living from selling their work, so prices reflect not only their time and labor but also their education and experience. Some of the factors that determine the price of a piece include the artist’s reputation, the size of the work and, in some cases, the associated production costs. For example, younger and emerging artists are typically more affordable than established artists.
Is buying art a good investment?
Art is not a liquid investment like stocks or gold, which one can easily sell or buy in the marketplace. Collect art because you genuinely connect with a certain painting and enjoy how it makes you feel or brightens your living space. Having said that, at Laasya Art we have conducted extensive research on the track record of the artists we represent, including past auction results that demonstrate the appreciation over the years. We are always happy to provide more details about individual artists upon request.