Sunday, September 6, 2015

Art Collectors Series #2: Ajay Seth

Continuing on our Art Collectors series and our 7 Simple Steps to Start your Fine Art Collection, Mr. Ajay Seth, is another international art collector we want to introduce to you today. He's also added some critical comments on collecting for investments.

He said, "to reduce the risk involved in art investments, you should consider three important aspects":

  1. Prominence and Authenticity of the Artwork
  2. The entire chain of its ownership
  3. The title of the art work.

This is a gold rule to collect fine art

Q. When did you start collecting your first piece of art? 

A. I started collecting at the age of 15. It began with collecting old and historical items, news papers etc and gradually led me towards collecting Artworks. 

Q. What is the main motivation behind your collecting?

A. I was always allured by the creativity, art entails and this is how it started. Though, over a period of time, having passed through a journey, I evolved myself as a collector and connected with the intellectual aspect of Fine Art. The art of appreciating the aesthetics of Art, its rarity and historical significance are some of the key actuations for me to acquire an artwork.  

Q. Can you please tell us more about the art you have collected so far? And how did you acquire them?

A. I have been collecting various Artworks from various Genres, including Post War Modern masters, National Treasures, contemporary art etc and of various forms including installations, assemblages, sculptors, paper works and canvasses. Some of the artists I collect are VS Gaitonde, Tyeb Mehta, SH Raza, MF Hussain, Rabindranath Tagore etc. 

I acquire them from all across including Exhibitions, auctions, galleries, collectors, etc.

Q. Can you please give us an example on how much you pay to acquire an art? And how much is the current market price?

A. I acquired a national treasure artist Rabindranath Tagore in 2007 for approximately $20,000 which is currently valued at around $300,000.

Q. Where is your favourite place to view art?

A. I like Venice Biennale very much. It's one of the craziest places to be in for art Connoisseurs. One can feel the ardor in collectors and the whole atmosphere there I an experience in itself.

Q. Where have you shown your art piece? What is your next plan for showing?

A. We are in process of creating some unique online platforms for showcasing and trading of Art, which would connect collectors with the art, artists, galleries, scholars, experts etc, as I feel online platforms are a great way of connecting people located in various parts of the world. We are also in process of launching auctions of Art and Collectibles which would showcase and offer works of rare art and artefacts.

Q. What advice would you give to new collectors who also wish to follow your path?

A. I would advise people to begin slowly and understand Art gradually through a process. Knowledge and learning is very important here, as many individuals and institutions  buy Art which has no value at a cost equal to or sometimes higher than aesthetically and commercially stronger works of Fine Art. One can begin with acquiring small works of masters at economical prices and gradually build a collection of works. It is advisable to buy works which they like and something which is aesthetically strong, rare or has historical significance which could also offer good investment opportunities, as you often can get aesthetically strong and valuable works at decent prices, which one can cherish for generations. 

Q. In your opinion, what would an artist need to do in order to be successful in the art world?

A. For an artist to be successful, he needs to have his goals predefined. One should focus more on the strength of the work and showcasing more, which is very helpful in promotions. I would suggest one to avoid churning of works in large numbers as this affects the quality. It is also important that he chooses the right gallery, which could promote his works to the requisite set of audiences with a good strategy along with partnering with the right associates. 

Thank you Mr Seth for sharing with us. Coincidently, we just posted an article about goal setting and definitely agree with Mr Seth's suggestion. Click HERE to check out our article!


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