Ajay Seth, Chief Mentor and Founder, Copal Art
A work of art is the unique result of a unique temperament', Oscar Wilde's words always echo in my mind whenever I consider laying my hands on a new piece of art
. When I matured from a novice buyer to a serious collector, I learnt to look beyond genres and themes and concentrated on perspective. Blame my bias, but the artist I recommend is my favourite S.H.Raza whose abstractions like Earth and Garbha Graha are priceless under the hammer. K.H.Ara's work is replete with raw energy, especially his bold brush strokes and his unusual style of applying paint onto the canvas directly. Hemendranath Mazumdar's nudes draw heavily from European art. His famous work Abandoned (Parityakta) expresses a woman's sentiments gracefully.
Another artist to watch out for is Badri Narayan who brings in parables and fables from Hindu mythology in bold and bright colours.
There is enough literature available on established artists, especially at galleries and public libraries. So, stick to the masters and gain a deeper understanding of their style and sensibility before taking the plunge. For starters, choose smaller paintings of about 12"x12" or 12"x18" and ensure their authenticity. For this, verify the provenance of the artists as well as the certificate accompanying the piece.
It is a good idea to buy directly from an auction house. Else, you can use the services of credible art advisors who do your research and market analysis. Given the huge gray market of fake artworks, one should be wary of any cash transactions while buying and selling. Cheques are more reliable as you can track the money trail. Make sure the paperwork is genuine and complete.
This is a prerequisite while claiming a reimbursement in case of a loss. Finally, make sure the piece is framed and fumigated as guided so it doesn't fall pray to fungus or warps from humidity.