Monday, July 6, 2015

Art Return Value

These days the question, I get from buyers is “if the Art has return value”. Art has been emerging as a new asset class for the well-diversified portfolio. The reported returns are enough to catch anyone's eye: the index of fine art sales, used by art consultants to sell art funds, shows an average annual return of 10% over the past four decades.
Art has long been considered an investment of passion, one that not only offers aesthetic pleasure but the potential for economic benefit. Only recently has art investing been viewed through the lens of modern portfolio theory and considered as a potential alternative investment in a portfolio of assets. Though research continues to shed more light on what has been historically an opaque market, studies show that art can offer long-term return potential that is uncorrelated with other asset classes.
Market paradigms have shifted dramatically over the last several decades, as newly created wealth in emerging markets such as China, Russia and the Middle East has increased the number of participants in the art trade, giving the market greater resiliency. Undeterred by a rough economic environment in recent years, collectors globally are paying record sums for top works. 
To understand what drives the art market, it is important to recognize the main motivations behind art buying. Art is unique as an investment in that there are many non-monetary investment reasons behind collecting. First, there are intangible values associated with having and enjoying a piece of art. Art provides collectors with social status and prestige— an outlet to signal their wealth or lifestyle to others. There are also the philanthropic benefits of purchasing art, from financing up-and-coming artists to building a collection to preserve cultural heritage. Chinese buyers, for example, have been repatriating cultural assets that have been in the hands of Western owners, which has contributed to a rise in values of Chinese works in recent years.The obvious monetary benefit is the opportunity to gain a return on investment, though investors also recognize art as a way to store value, to hedge inflation and to diversify their portfolio allocation.
People try to compare between art rentals and purchase. We should look at the benefits while we compare. An art object yields additional benefits if it is owned (and not just rented) because the art object’s ‘aura’ is there with appropriated. Consequently, neither are potential hirers willing to pay ‘market’ rents (covering capital cost, insurance, etc.), nor can present owners be sufficiently compensated by such rents for foregoing the art object when it is rented out. It may be argued that this holds for private collectors but not for galleries and museums. However, most owners of private galleries are art lovers themselves and often behave more like private collectors than like purely commercial enterprises. Indeed, many major gallery owners have a sizeable private collection of their own.
Museums and galleries with very few exceptions only exchange art objects among themselves, but do not unilaterally rent out. This leaves purely commercial galleries - usually organized in chains - where the owners are not subject to the ownership anomaly. We expect and predict that such firms will rent out paintings and other art objects in the future but that this market will remain unimportant compared to the major galleries where important and expensive art is bought and sold. Thus, the art rental market is not likely to inform us about the quantitative aspect of the psychic benefits of art.

The Art of Investing in Art. (2015). Retrieved from
The Art of Collecting an Art. (2015). Retrieved from!art/c136u

Friday, April 17, 2015

Thinking of buying a Mithila Painting? Get some tips !!

The process of decorating a home in any sort of style can be confusing. However, for those looking for the sophistication of artwork, the fine art world can be a difficult one to understand. Therefore, many people choose to focus on what is known as folk art instead. Traditionally, the term folk art has been used as a contrast to the term "fine art" or "high art." In general, it is made by the native peoples of a culture or the laborers and tradespeople of a civilization. Basically, folk art is created by those without any formal training in artistic creation. For this reason, folk art is also known by several other names such as "Self-Taught Art", "Outsider Art" and "Naive Art."

Mithila was the ancient country. It has been more frequently used for somewhat fluid cultural region than for a definite political or geographical unit. The land of it comprised the present districts of north Bihar, India and southeast of Nepal. The people living in this part are called Maithil, which was one of the names of Sita, princess of Mithila. It is supposed that Janakpur, a historical city in the southeast of Nepal was the capital of the ancient Mithila, the kingdom that was first to make contact with oriental cultures and consequently strengthened its own. At present Janakpur is the center of Maithili culture.

Mithila is the region of Maithili speaking people where ancient ritual practices have survived unhindered for centuries. Several traditions of women’s floor- and wall- art were associated with these ritual practices, and continue till recently in their orthodox form. W.G. Archer named a communal activity rooted in tradition the art of art in Mithila, as Mithila Art. Mithila art is inseparable aspect of Maithili culture. It is a part of family ceremonies, village festivals and religious celebrations. Maithili women whether literate or illiterate, the upper caste or lower caste make this art on these occasions. As more sophisticated art is practiced by upper caste (Brahman and Kayastha), the schedule caste or backward people draw very simple arts of animals like horses and elephants and different plants which are not complicated and complex but very innovative and unique in their designs and motifs.

The origin of this style of painting is related to the famous ‘Sita Kalyan’. It’s said that King Janaka, father of Sita, arranged quite a number of artists to create paintings of the marriage. According to history, this is when Madhubani style of painting was born.

Hindu mythologies and deities has always been a prolific presence in Mithila paintings and it still is. These paintings are mostly about Hindu deities like Krishna, Ram, Shiva, Lakshmi, Durga etc. At times, events like weddings have also made it to the canvas of Mithila paintings. Whatever space is left on the surface is never left alone and the space is filled with some simple paintings of flowers or even geometric designs.

Buying a Mithila Art can be sometime overwhelming since there are many different types and looks for this Art. Some Artists use only brush on the art, some use only pens and some use both. Artists also apply different color palates and patterns in designing this art now. Once a buyer decides which type of Mithila art he or she wants to purchase, the next choice involves which rooms to decorate in a folk art tradition and how. The good news is that Mithila art is literally displayed in every artistic medium one can imagine. This includes both decorative as well as utilitarian pieces. Therefore, it is easy to use Mithila art throughout the house for any and all decorating needs.

For many Mithila art buyers, discovering which piece is right for which room throughout the house can only be determined once the shopping process commences. Like buying other folk art, Mithila art is made by individually rather than mass produced. That means that what is available one week or month may not be there the next.

For that reason, it is important for buyers to know where to purchase Mithila art and get the best variety and prices. Traditional buying sources such as specialty retailers and art dealers will carry select works. As well, buyers may want to consider going to craft fairs where artisans may offer contemporary versions of pieces in any of the traditions listed above. However, these methods of buying Mithila art can be time consuming and offer no guarantee of success.

Educated buyers who use online purchase, on the other hand, can gain the benefit of some of the best Mithila art from all Mithila traditions, all in one easy-to-use space. However when buying these pieces online, quality and authenticity are key. Buyers must make sure to review a seller’s detailed ratings and history on different websites and reviews as a means to assess their legitimacy in claiming authentic pieces. Buyers may also want to consider contacting the seller directly to ask questions.