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Art Auction 101: A Beginner’s Guide

Australian art is the oldest on the planet. Aboriginal art goes back at least 50,000 years. Throughout the history of the country, artistic expression has evolved. If you’ve ever attended an art auction, you know how enthralling it can be. No wonder art connoisseurs eagerly wait for an auction event; the uniqueness of the art, the bidding process among hundreds of people, and finally, winning the auction, it’s a rush they love. If you’re new to the art world, it is understandable to feel intimidated by the whole thing. As simple as it looks, it also requires skills and tactics that can help you get the best deal. Here’s how to make the most out of an Australian art auction

1 Do Your Research

Before going to a gallery or museum for an auction, you must know about it beforehand. Usually, these places post information regarding upcoming auctions and the catalogue on their website. So, check the dates, and remember to read the catalogue carefully. See what items will be auctioned, and learn everything about them. You should be aware of what you’re going to bid for. In Australia, all art produced by indigenous people should be appropriately registered. Enquire about the aboriginal artist’s involvement in the procedure.

Moreover, you can get an idea about the item’s worth if you do a little bit of digging on the internet, and this will ensure that you pay the right price instead of overspending unnecessarily. 

2 Go Slow with the Bidding

Many newbies need to start bidding at a higher price. That won’t work in your favour. Instead, go slow. See how the rest of the crowd is responding, and make bids accordingly. A lot of the skill involved in auctioning is psychological, so if you play your cards right, you might be able to make an excellent deal. 

3 Go for the Preview

Most museums and Australian art auction events host a preview where you can go and see the art pieces. This will be helpful because you can check all the art pieces that will be put up and choose the ones that speak to you. Maybe it’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. Perhaps it’s an abstract painting of the Great Barrier Reef. You’ll look closely at the piece and make all the observations possible. You can also check how much money is worth spending on the art pieces. 

4 Set a Maximum Bid

When bidding during an auction, it is easy to lose track of your finances and bid an amount that may be way outside your budget. It is always wise to set the maximum amount you’re going to bid, and you have to ensure that you only spend a penny as much. You’re going there to enjoy art, not to empty your wallet! 

5 Talk to Other Bidders and Art Collectors

Australia is thriving with art lovers. Most people who come to an auction are connoisseurs of art or art collectors. Most people in the crowd have had some experience. So, try and make connections with these people. They might share their wisdom and guide you for future auctions. Plus, you get to make friends who enjoy art as much as you do.

6 Be a Skilled Auctioneer

Auctions are an excellent way to show your appreciation for art and artists. It requires mindful tactics, but it is easy to crack a good bid. You can attend a few auction events as an observer and see how others do it. Just know your budget, find what you’re interested in from their auction catalogue, figure out the art price, and start bidding! Australia’s art world has a lot to offer to those who love it, so take advantage of everything and collect the best pieces representing you.