Anyone who came to Apparao Galleries on Saturday to find out the secret tricks of collecting art would have been disappointed to learn, as Amit Jain put it, ‘there are no secrets’! The noted art collector and photographer, who has collected art work for the Devi Art Foundation and the Savara Foundation, peppered his lecture with humorous anecdotes and some serious gyaan. Jain’s lecture focused on the point that anyone could be an art collector and you only need a little time and patience.
Starting with several anecdotes about working with the Devi Art Foundation and the Savara Foundation, Jain put several questions to the audience about art, collecting and the different types of collecting.
“You can collect for yourself or a foundation, or you could go about collecting art as an investor. For each category, you have certain parameters by which you buy art,” Jain told the hall comprising artists and collectors including Dakshinachitra’s Deborah Thyagarajan, whose reason for being there was a cheeky “I collect houses!”
Talking about a simple step of budgeting for art buying, he said, “Every piece you buy does not have to be expensive.”
Jain added that giving a theme or a definite focus to the collection was important as well.
Jain’s tips on collecting found understanding nods and heads shaking in agreement.
“I find that focusing your art, or having a theme to your collection adds more depth. Or you could buy an artist in depth, concentrate on their work done in a certain period of time,” said Jain.
The Delhi-based collector also said that if one ended up becoming a serious collector, one had an obligation towards artists in the form of grants or scholarships.
“Patronage is nearly non-existent in India. There are a few foundations around, but we need more collectors to come forward and set up grants or scholarships for struggling artists. It really helps,” he told City Express.
The knowledgeable tips were not restricted to how to collect art. Jain also gave some insight into what sort of pointers to look at while buying art. For first time collectors, it is the KISS formula that he advocated. “Keep it simple, silly”, while for the people who wanted their art to look good on the wall “Never take your interior decorator to buy art”, which spawned a whole new discussion about interior designers and their taste in art among the audience.
But most of all, it was all about love. “Always buy art that you have an emotional reaction to,” he said.
“Never assume art is about money. It’s about the love. It won’t sell easily, but at the end of the day you’ll have a collection that you will love,” he said.