Buying Tips

Buying Australian – Aboriginal Art for Investment

Over the last decade contemporary Aboriginal art has emerged as a truly exciting genre in Australian art. Works can be purchased at affordable prices because the market is still in its infancy but not too young to ignore the major artists that have firmly established their place in the field.

Worldwide, artists such as Emily Kngwarreye and Rover Thomas have exceeded expectations of over $300,000 to set the benchmark internationally for Aboriginal paintings in the cotemporary area. However, there are many levels in the Aboriginal genre. The quality of art by some artists is indeed questionable, questionable in the fact to their investment projection by way of how the artist views his or her own works.

To invest in Aboriginal art it is imperative to know the background of the artist and their story. Their story or ‘Dreaming’ is what many established and emerging artists put onto canvas. Aboriginal artists are not generally careerists but more custodians of their culture and they are preserving this culture through their art. These are the paintings, the ones that tell the stories that are collectable.

At Indigenous Instyle we source and sell paintings of this nature because it keeps strong and true to the Aboriginal Dreamings and that is of paramount importance to the Aboriginal people and their culture. Ethical investment will ensure the Aboriginal artists and their people benefit from their art.

What to look for when buying Aboriginal art

1. Authenticity – Genuine Aboriginal art will usually come with a Certificate of Authenticity. Other ways to ensure the art is from the said artist is to have photos of the artist with the work or with ‘in progress’ photos which are taken as the painting is being done. Signed works also prove authenticity.

2. Innovation in style – Aboriginal artists who paint their Dreaming will have developed a unique style. Artists such as the Petjarre sisters and Mitjili Napurrula are fine examples of contemporary artists who have established recognisable styles that are highly valued.

3. Rarity – Styles (as above) from artists who are deceased and may have not passed on their skills to the next generation can be very collectible. Johnny W. Tjupurrula is an example of rarity. When his works are available they command high prices and are bought quickly by investors.

4. Established Quality – Paintings from core groups who consistently develop quality art work can be a good place to start when collecting Aboriginal art. Artists such as Willy Tjungurrayi and Thomas Tjapaltjarri fit this category.

5. My final tip would be to buy paintings that you’d like to hang on your wall. Buy the best you can afford by the artists you trust and remember Aboriginal art is still in its early stages and you might just purchase a bargain!

 A Guide to Buying Aboriginal Art
The Importance of Provenance
Ethical Buying of Aboriginal Art
A Little History

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