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Arts SmART COLLECTING: Where do new art collectors start?

SmART COLLECTING: Where do new art collectors start?

SmART COLLECTING: Where do new art collectors start?
By Datin Shalini Ganendra
May 25, 2015

Datin Shalini Ganendra of Shalini Ganendra Fine Art Advisory shares with us the aspects to consider if you're a first-time new collector looking to start your collection.

The art world is just sizzling with so much media information, hype, auctions, art fairs, galleries, dealers, collectors.

Everyone is a mega-collector. Everyone seems to be making money investing in art. Every artist seems to be increasing in value. Every auction has huge returns

Chaps, take a deep breath and let us navigate to reality.

Datin Shalini Ganendra

There is so much noise and we need to have and maintain clarity to develop and build a credible art collection.

Collecting the visual has a distinctive quality of being able to collect/invest in beauty – a remarkable feature that can give emotional satisfaction through being able to see beautiful works on a daily basis (and, of course, financial satisfaction if bought with good value – will make anyone smile).

Also, remember – art can cover so many mediums: Painting, sculpture, photography, ceramic, multi-media, installation, textile, jewellery. 


Know why you want to collect.

As with all things, it is important to have clarity of purpose. Focus will vary based on whether you want to: invest in art; live with art; brand a corporate environment; or develop a credible collection based on what you like, good advice and with investment potential. I recommend the last approach, which combines the former focuses.


Buy what you like and the best that you can afford

Snappy words, but loaded with responsibility if you want to buy quality. Developing an eye -- the required element for any successful collector, advisor, gallerist/dealer, curator -- requires a lot of looking, discussion, research and experience. The eye is about being able to evaluate the quality -- aesthetic, material and monetary -– by viewing the work and knowing about the artist. The eye does not evolve overnight, like mushrooms in the forest. So, if you are new to game, do get advice from many experts, read up and then buy what you like at the price you can afford.


Maintain Staying Power

A natural adjunct of the former is to avoid over-extending your budget. Do not speculate unless you have holding power because you may find the floor falling away, and your works with it.  Buy to hold, and do sell as you need to as the price goes up. Gambling on art can be very risky.



Datin Shalini Ganendra is an art advisor and gallerist with over 18 years of dedicated experience in the field. Advisory services include collection management, valuation, exhibition coordination and artwork sourcing, and expertise extends to a broad range of artists, mediums, geographies and periods. Ask her anything!   

To get in touch with her, please email or log on to the Shalini Ganendra Fine Art Advisory official website here.




(Photos and artworks: Shalini Ganendra Fine Art Advisory

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