It has been a longstanding desire of mine to own art of some seriousness. Okay, I already own two paintings I love but in the case of both, I am not completely sure they are the original work of the artist. I want to have a little art collection with pieces that imbue history, thought, technique and which hold their value.
When I visited MinCat in Delhi last year, we walked into a gallery and on a whim I asked the price of a painting by a well-known artist and I was surprised that it was not out of my league. And thus, the dream was renewed. It got lost in the minutiae of daily life and budgeting for a while and then our bonuses arrived. And suddenly, I remembered.
So for the past week or so I’ve been lusting after art. I am so tempted to rush in and buy something, anything, but I feel obliged to do research and ask questions. (Appeal to readers who know anything about modern Indian art. Help me! I need guidance here!) We were at dinner with friends and V asked them whether they thought the painting I had in mind was worth the price. And I happened to mention that while the piece I was considering is not my necessary my ideal choice, but that I am considering a few artists because they are, to use stock market terminology, blue chip, at least in the Indian context.
I then got a lecture on how I must not think about investment value and buy only what I liked because I would have to live with it and I should think about how it is going to fit into my home. I have read this advice over and over, every article on buying art seems to say it, so it’s almost a cliché.
The thing is I am not buying this merely for decorative purposes. If that was the case, I would have hopped over to Shenzhen. Moreover, I do have the money to spend huge sums on decoration. I am passionate about art but if I am putting down this amount of money, I would like it to hold value, which is not being unrealistic because certain art does hold value.
The example I gave my friends was the apartment we bought in Hong Kong. I have always said it was not my dream apartment, which seemed to shock people. This didn’t mean I didn’t like it. I liked the apartment very much. However, my decision to buy it was also based on the bet that it would increase in value given certain factors (and it did). That is my principle in buying any property: 1) Could I live there? 2) Investment value. The two things have to balance in my head for the deal to work for me.
Ditto with buying jewellery. I believe gold has investment value. I also like that it’s pretty. Win win. And before you go on about how you hate the sight of gold, I’ve been there. I am now at the matronly age, or at least stage, where I can see the beauty in gold.
I realised that this is my attitude to many major decisions in life. I recently redid the Myers Briggs test and came out an INFJ. I had always thought of myself as ruled by the head but it seems that I am equally ruled by the heart. I need the two to balance out to my satisfaction, and much of my agonising stems from this desire to find a mean point that appears optimum to me. Sometimes, like in my choice of husband, the perfect choice appears intact and then the decision is a no-brainer. My decision to marry was one of the quickest I have ever taken. I knew it was right.
Other things not so much. I agonise. Some may think my reasoning too intuitive (like V). Others would find it too calculating. But I am constantly striving to balance the two, something that reading Linda Goodman’s description of Librans revealed to me a long time ago. Only then, I didn’t realise that the balancing was between head and heart.
So which do favour in your decisions-making – head or heart? And do you know anything about art? (If yes, email me!)