Time for an art attack

Time for an art attack


Time for an art attack

FOR ART’S SAKE M F Husain (‘Finishing Point’, serigraph on paper)Planning the decor of your home with art needs to begin primarily with the finer schematics and design of the place.  Art, comprising conventional and experimental paintings and sculptures, are ‘mood enhancers’ and absolute de-stressors from a connoisseur’s perspective. One needs to connect with the creative process at any level, abstract or otherwise, and it could elevate the mood to a more fulfilling experience.
Opines Kiran Bagade, Owner & Gallerist, Gallerie Pablo and art curator, “I, for one, believe in minimalism and a tasteful oil on canvas or acrylic on walls, where there would be play of light, without being in your face - not being obtrusive and merging with the flow.” It is usually considered a wise idea to invest in originals (rather than reproductions) of young upcoming artists.

Established names come with a hefty price tag. Again, the point to note is that while you consult with curators and gallery owners and perhaps artists themselves, it is important that you buy a piece that appeals to your sensibilities. The mantra is simple. It is a decor item that you will use in your home and will look at every day – make sure it’s what you like.

“Let your home speak for you. What works for you may not work for someone else. Often, people tend to let their architects / interior designers decide on the artwork that goes on their walls. The artworks you select must be what your inner self relates to – be they masters or upcoming artists. Take the opinion of your interior designer while selecting the painting, but let the final choice be yours,” says Pheroza Godrej, Owner, Cymroza Art Gallery. Before you start collecting art, get your basics right. “Ask yourself, ‘what is the mood of the space and what types of activity will take place in the space’?
“Once you have decided what you want to use the room for, you can choose a colour theme to suit the function of the room. This gives you the basis for choosing the right art for the space,” advises Jayant Vaitha, Director (Design), Synergy. He further goes on to suggest that the next step would be to choose a style: traditional/classic, mod­ern/contemporary or fun/entertaining.

Just like wall colour, artwork can immediately change the mood and ambience of a room.
“Choosing a style depends on your taste. This allows you to inject your signature style into the interiors through artwork. Make a checklist of the artwork you already have that can be used to decorate your interior space,” he adds.

“You can give existing framed artwork a facelift by changing the frame and re-matting to give them a fresh new look.

“Take note that size and colour are the main aspects to consider when choosing art for your interior space. Work that is too large will overpower the space, while paintings that are too small will be devoured up in the space. You can also stay within your budget by shopping at resale stores for decorative pieces or scan clearance isles at discount stores, furniture stores, and superstores,” Vaitha explains

Investing right

The dynamics of investing in art is multi-fold. “It would be prudent to make enquiries about how much the artist has evolved, his/her exposure and potential, inputs from accepted art critics, visiting acknowledged art promoting centres, etc, to arrive at a logical conclusion on the returns. Upcoming artists - they vary from critic to critic and one gallerist to another. One needs to take a pragmatic call relative to the elements mentioned earlier,” explains Bagade.

“For those who are just starting their collection, the first look at art is not with an eye for investment. We don’t purchase Italian marble for our floors or Italian sofas for our living rooms based on what we will get when we turn them in. We buy them because it gives us an emotional satisfaction to have them around as they please our eye.

“Art should be perceived from that angle. If only investment is the motive, then invest in gold and silver – there is instant liquidity at market price. However, a price angle must also be kept in mind while selecting art – it may not appreciate drastically but it should also not be a case where we purchase a piece and its value drops tenfolds in a short while. Start by selecting artists who are reputed in their genre of art. One work of each such artist builds a good collection. Pick up one work each of senior artists. If your budget permits, then, of course, go ahead with the masters and build a versatile collection,” says Godrej.

She adds, “for a new collector (with a modest budget) who is picking up art for the home as well as looking into an investment angle, pick up a Samir Mondal for his watercolours,
“Ajay De for his charcoals, a Satish Gujral painting, drawing and/or sculpture (whatever appeals to you). He is a very senior artist and one can’t go wrong with a selection from his collection.

“Pick up a Vrindavan Solanki (for his very distinct style in acrylics on canvas) and an M F Husain, Jehangir Sabavala, Jamini Roy, Manjit Bawa serigraphs (if you are not averse to prints).” If investment is the motive, ask the gallery for advice.

Says Premilla Baid, Owner, Sumukha Gallery Art, “Visit various galleries and get inputs and then take a decision. One can name a few but not all. Every gallery has their own stable of artists.”

You should purchase work from a reputed gallery rather than direct purchase from artists and unauthorised sources.

 “When you choose an artist in terms of investment, it is better to have a good understanding of their practice and profile, galleries involved, national and international validation. It is also important to know where they have exhibited and the art collectors and museums who patronise their work,” says Murali Cheeroth, artist.

Art needs to be maintained just like any other artifact. Using them indoors with glass frames helps maintain the longevity of water colour expressions. You also need to regularly dust the piece to avoid accumulation of fine particles on the canvas. The use of Vaseline spray maintains the texture of canvas as also the shades. 
Which is the most durable material?

Bronze and granite, perhaps the most durable materials, still require care. They can be damaged or destroyed if not properly maintained. For most collectors, the concern is about canvas paintings and prints. “It is best to use white acid free cotton gloves to handle the print. The oils in human skin are either slightly acid or base. Both are detrimental to the paper the print is made of. They are even more damaging to the inks used to make the print. 

Don’t touch the print with your bare hands. Cleaning the glass that protects the art requires its own special care. Read the instructions on the particular glass and ask the framer to glue the directions to the backing on the print,” says Vaitha.

“Canvas works need to breathe, hence they must not be put behind glass. Water colours are better protected behind glass. “Do not use non-reflective glass – it flattens the painting and the vibrancy of the work will drastically reduce. While mounting the works, try using acid-free mounting at least for the expensive works. In a home, it is not mandatory to put lighting above each work – natural lighting does the trick as well. Else, some spots form the ceilings can do the highlighting trick,” says Godrej.

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox