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The art factor

The Hindu, 24 April 2013  

Launch of Durva Gandhi’s book Secrets of the Art Millionaires that is a step-by-step guide to anyone who wants to buy art Durva Gandhi figured out the dos and don’ts of art collecting the hard way — by making some expensive mistakes. Now, with her book Secrets of the Art Millionaires, she shares some of what she’s learnt, so you can get it right from the get-go. “Most of the time, this knowledge is not accessible unless you’re part of a privileged art auction house,” says Durva, who was recently in the city for the launch of the book at a session of the Chennai Art Club. “This book is a bold move to make that information available to everybody.” The glossy coffee table book (priced at Rs. 977) acts as a step-by-step guide to anyone who wants to buy art, especially on how to do research and tap into the knowledgeable ‘inner circle’ of the art world. “That’s so important because what appears to be is not what is, in the art world. There’s so much hype out there,” she says. Durva is based in Mumbai, and has been part of its art scene variously as a designer, coffee table book publisher, art consultant and curator, and now founder of the Breathe Arts online art portal. But, she says, the tips in her book are applicable to any art market in the city, simply underlining principles of success that would work anywhere. And it isn’t restricted to just advice for buyers and collectors, but also has sections for artists (on how to effectively manage resources and market themselves), and for gallery owners, curators, etc. “It’s targeted towards all the stakeholders in the art world,” she says. “Most people who are creatively inclined simply don’t have an interest or understanding of what it takes to be a financial success.” And it’s more important than ever for people to have an eye on that bottomline today. “It’s not a choice anymore. We have to understand which way the market is going since the value of art is soaring so high, and we’re dealing in lakhs and crores,” she says. So if you’re looking to get involved in the high stakes world of fine art, take some time to understand how it works. “When we start out buying, we all tend to go only by aesthetics rather than market factors. You need to find the right balance between a good investment and what you like. Find out which artists have the right profile, the right collectors backing them. Stay guarded against hype; understand the different motivations of the people you talk to,” says Durva.


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 April 2013