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Investing_in_Australian_Aboriginal_Art

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					Title:
Investing in Australian Aboriginal Art

Word Count:
603

Summary:
One of the hottest areas of the contemporary art scene in Australia today
is Australian Aboriginal art, which is becoming an increasingly
attractive option for many investors. The Aboriginal art market has
attracted increasing international attention in recent years, and has
experienced exceptional growth which appears set to maintain pace in the
medium term.


Keywords:
aboriginal, art, australia, indigenous, investment, painting


Article Body:
One of the hottest areas of the contemporary art scene in Australia today
is Australian Aboriginal art, which is becoming an increasingly
attractive option for many investors. The Aboriginal art market has
attracted increasing international attention in recent years, and has
experienced exceptional growth which appears set to maintain pace in the
medium term. Aboriginal art considerably outsells non-indigenous
Australian art at auction and has gained significant international
standing. It is critical that investors are well informed before entering
the Aboriginal art market, however, not only to ensure that investments
are made in quality work by quality artists, but also to guarantee the
provenance and authenticity of the work.

Australian Aboriginal art has generally proved to be a solid investment
over time. Work by important Aboriginal artists has increased in value
markedly over the past 30 years, with individual works fetching prices as
high $350,000 at international auction. Prudent investors who have
developed good relationships with specialist galleries can derive great
pleasure from collecting the art of the world's oldest living indigenous
culture, and can also be assured that the artists in question have been
treated fairly and ethically, and that their investment is secure.

One of the first considerations when investing in Aboriginal art is a
Certificate of Authenticity. Certificates are normally issued by the
community where the artist lives and paints, or by the gallery from which
the artwork is purchased. Certificates vary in the details they provide,
however most include information including the artist's name, community
and language group, the title, story and size of the work, and the name
and code of the relevant community art centre or gallery. A photo of the
artist with the work is also often included with the certificate.

Many of the factors involved in determining the value of an Aboriginal
art work are similar to those involved in any other art work. A
particular piece should in the first instance be attractive to the
investor on the basis of its immediate aesthetic value, but its current
and future financial value depend on a variety of factors requiring
careful research. These factors include the renown of the artist and the
period of the artist's career in which the work was created. Other
factors particular to the Australian Aboriginal art market include the
artist's age and seniority as a tribal elder, and their role or position
in the historical development of Aboriginal art.

Prior to purchasing a painting, investors should research the artist in
as much depth as possible. Determine whether the artist is represented in
significant collections or galleries in Australia and internationally.
Also determine how prolific the artist is, and whether there is strong
demand for the artist in the secondary market - in other words, at
auction. View as much work by the artist as possible to determine whether
the work under consideration is from a well regarded period or series.
Works painted during particular periods can be significantly more
valuable than those from other periods. Finally, make sure you have an
accurate understanding of the current market value of the artist's work.

If all these factors seem daunting, don't hesitate to ask for
professional advice. The Australian Aboriginal art market is far more
open than it once was, with increased competition facilitating a marked
improvement in service. Reputable gallery owners, dealers and auction
houses possess the necessary expertise and are generally happy to assist
new investors. One final point to consider when investing in any art are
add-on expenses including transaction costs, commissions, insurance and
restoration charges. These costs can be high, so be sure to factor them
into the purchase price where applicable.

				
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