When you browse the internet, you often check artist websites and then fall in love with an artwork and you want to buy it. However, you have nagging questions such as how to buy it, whether you are sure about the artwork’s authenticity and whether the art valuation is right. Talking on this matter, India’s eminent contemporary artist Shantala Palat shares important tips for buying art online.
1. Authenticity and Research
When you buy art online, first make sure that it comes with a Certificate of Authenticity. This is a very important document, which is signed by artist in order to prove that the work you are purchasing is authentic. You check the artist’s website for the contact number and talk to the artist directly.
Other than that, make sure you do your homework and research as much as you can about the work. With the Internet, you can access a great amount of information and find answers at your fingertips. If you cannot determine whether the answers are reliable, you can always ask the experts! You can approach galleries and send them your questions - they are not as intimidating as you think!
2. View the image of the artwork at high resolution.
Many a time an artwork on the computer or phone screen looks different from the real one. Hence no matter how much you've fallen in love with a painting, photograph or a sculpture, you must always view its high-resolution picture on a high-resolution monitor or retina display screen. Know that colors on computer screens aren't true-to-life, but fairly close. If artist website has provided low-resolution artwork, contact the artist / seller and ask for better pictures.
3. Read artwork descriptions carefully.
A painting that may seem 11" x 14" inch to your eye on computer or mobile phone screen, may really be size of 5" x 7" inch. Hence always check online painting’s descriptions for size, medium used, etc. If there are no clear details about the artwork, then ask the artist about the details.
4. Review shipping methods.
When you buy a work of art online, it must be handled and shipped 100% perfectly. Hence when you buy art online, pay extra attention, maintain effective and open communications with the artist and get clear cut assurance that a professional handler will be delivering your painting in its best condition- no broken glass framed works or crushed paintings on paper
5. Research about the artist
When you check the artist’s works on his/her website or through an authentic online gallery, check the artist profile such as biographical information (such as when and where the artist was born), where he or she is based, his/her exhibition, awards and achievements. Crosscheck this information with other websites or with the profile of the same artist that is mentioned in authentic online art galleries.
6. Don't be shy to ask questions!
If you have researched the artist and still have some unanswered questions, make the most out of artist's knowledge by asking the artist everything you can about that particular artist and piece.