An Insider’s Guide to Buying Aboriginal Contemporary Art

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An Insider’s Guide to Buying Aboriginal Contemporary Art


The world of art collection can be daunting, especially for those who spend thousands of dollars collecting artwork from the best galleries all over the country. Buying Indigenous art can seem even more difficult. The indigenous art market is worth over 200 million AUD per annum. However, everyone can enjoy the beauty of aboriginal Australian art affordably. Buyers must also be respectful of the artists and the stories they want to communicate while ensuring the legitimacy of the work. This article aims to help people navigate their way to buy Australian art and experience the reward of collecting Aboriginal contemporary art.


First, Have a Good Understanding Of the Art

Whether a person is going on a trip to the Northern Australian territory or wants to collect a stand out Aboriginal piece of art for their home, thorough knowledge about the investment is crucial. Ranging from exceptional dot paintings and vibrantly coloured woven art pieces, buyers must always research its history, techniques used to create the brilliant work and the artists behind them. Additionally, those who collect indigenous art have the responsibility to educate themselves and others about the stories and cultural significance of the artwork to ensure no disrespect.


Determine the Reason for Buying

People must buy artwork they love and respect. There are different forms of art acquisition in the industry. While buying aboriginal art, they must try to determine if they want to buy it because they think it looks stunning, it works with the home interiors, it is a good investment or because they genuinely love the work and want to support the artists. Those who want to buy artwork as investments must consult with experts to determine their value and potential. Others can buy Australian art whose style and medium suits their office or home décor.


Buy Australian Art from Reputed Galleries

While purchasing Aboriginal art, buyers must also research the seller and the art industry. They must find trustworthy galleries and art centres specialising in indigenous art forms. Enquiring about how the sellers maintain their relationships with the artists, compensate them, and their causes, provide enough information about the reputation of the galleries. Visiting galleries, exhibitions, art shows, and museums are the best ways to determine the institution’s legitimacy, artwork and artists.


Avoid Buying Forgeries

Whether the buyers are looking for contemporary art or aboriginal paintings from different sellers, they must stay vigilant about forged paintings. Although many might be tempted to buy Australian art from online e-commerce websites, they must understand that the probability of the artwork here being fake is high. Sometimes, the deals might seem far too good to be true, which is a red flag. Instead, they must consider purchasing the work from galleries that have a long history with the culture and the art market. They must also research the artists with who the organisations work.

Don’t Go for Just the Known Names.

Australia has numerous celebrated indigenous people, including Albert Namatjira, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Gloria Petyarre, Rover Thomas and more. One of the most common trends seen in the art world is if an artist gets recognition, only then does their work see demand. However, their ability to meet the needs might eventually come down. Many artists and painters who are not as well-known create high-quality paintings that go unrecognised. Therefore, one must also consider all the paintings available in the gallery and buy the artwork based on their quality and not just the name alone. Considering Michael Reid’s quote, buying an A-grade painting created by B-grade artists is better than buying a B-grade painting from A-grade artists.

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