• Monday, April 15, 2024
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Part 1 – The art of gifting: key considerations

Part 1 – The art of gifting: key considerations

This digest is brought to you by Patrons MCAA. Patrons is a full-suite art advisory firm that helps private and corporate art collectors diversify their wealth through art collection, appraisal, packaging & transportation, storage, insurance, maintenance, and restoration.

A bouquet of roses, chocolates, sweet treats, jewellery, and personalised items, are a few of the popular gift items people gravitate to when they want to express their gratitude to one another. You would probably agree that after a while, these items can become quite boring. You might eventually run out of suggestions for gifts to present to a special someone that would truly make a difference, especially on occasions to remember.

Have you ever considered art to be a gifting option? Granted, unlike other gift items, gifting art is no easy feat and can quickly become a challenging experience to manoeuvre. This is because whatever art you choose should appeal to the recipient, irrespective of the occasion. This choice of art must be one that equally flatters your artistic taste as well as your knowledge of theirs.

Gifting art should be a straightforward process but in fact, there are a number of considerations and implications when gifting art. In the first part of this digest, we will consider key guidelines to follow when gifting art to romantic interests, friends, family members, and business acquaintances.

Things to consider

Your budget

Having an art budget helps you to narrow your options. Art gifting need not be expensive. Set and stick to a realistic budget that you can afford. Purchasing a really expensive art piece as a gift may not always impress the recipient as they may feel very uncomfortable.

For example, in corporate gifting, some companies have an internal policy in place that prohibits key employees from receiving gifts above a certain value threshold. You do not want to spend lavishly on an art purchase only for your gift to be rejected.

Your choice of art

Whether this is your first time gifting an art piece or not, you want to leave a lasting impression on the receiver. In a case where the recipient is an art lover, your choice must match their taste.

Unless the print is a rare find, always opt in for original works of art. Gifting an original piece or a rare print signals that you have class. It immediately impresses in the recipient’s mind how high you value your relationship with them because of how valuable art is. That being said, avoid giving street art that would never appreciate in value. A valueless art may end up in a junkyard and a loss in respect for you.

Read also: Painting war at Alexis Galleries as two artists rival in The Uprising

Knowing where to deal

If you are a seasoned collector, you already know where to go. More often than not, seasoned collectors have art dealers that they are comfortable dealing with. If this is your first foray into art giving, you do not need to travel this path alone. Seek the advice of a trusted gallery, curator, or art advisory firms like Patrons who can advise you on the right art that will fit your budget and the profile of the person of interest.

Person of interest’s profile

Whom are you giving the gift to—a man or a woman? It’s crucial to understand the sex of your recipient. Men and women value and appraise work in distinct ways. Women are more inclined to assess the work’s aesthetic appeal, originality, and quality. Men are often more interested in the history and reputation of the artist.

If the gift is for a romantic interest, a family member, or friends, if you can, invite them to a gallery or museum visit prior to making a purchase decision. This way, you can closely observe how they react to art on display. Alternatively, you can engage them in art conversations to gauge their interests in art collecting. In either exercise, you will be able to evaluate their body language, verbal response, and facial reactions which are useful tips in determining art mediums and creative styles that will appeal to them.

If this gift is for business acquaintances, choose an art piece that is office appropriate and may also work well when placed in a home setting. If you have ever been to the recipient’s office, take cues of the available wall space, patterns and furniture, theme, styles, and colours used in their interiors. If you are unsure about the recipient’s taste, choose a conservative yet creative piece just to play it safe.

If you are unsure of this person’s profile, a smaller work of art is best. For paintings, a miniature is a better choice; they should be no larger than 20″ x 30″. You might want to negotiate a return/change policy with your dealer for situations where the person of interest does not like your artwork of choice.

Art Index Africa’s Top 5 Artworks to Give your Loved Ones this February

Art Index Africa’s jury has put together this gift guide you can follow to secure art gifts to give your loved ones, friends, and business acquaintances this February. This guide is based on budget friendliness, strong technique, message, style, and medium.

Artist: Emmanuel Dudu • Titled: Tomorrow’s Couple • Country: Nigeria • Medium: Oil on Canvas • Dimension: 12.6”x16” • Year: 2022 • Available upon request



Artist: Oladimeji Alabi • Titled: Introspection III • Country: Nigeria • Medium: Acrylic on Canvas • Dimension: 28”x28” • Year: 2020 • Available upon request


Artist: Oladimeji Alabi • Titled: Couple goal 3 • Country: Nigeria • Medium: Acrylic on Canvas • Dimension: 25”x25” • Year: 2022 • Available upon request


Artist: Emmanuel Dudu • Titled: Make up kit • Country: Nigeria • Medium: Oil on Canvas • Dimension: 9”x10” • Year: 2022 • Available upon request


Artist: Emmanuel Dudu • Titled: Neo Hieroglyphics (Soul Mates) 2 • Country: Nigeria • Medium: Oil on Canvas • Dimension: 16”x1” • Year: 2022 • Available upon request


In conclusion, you should consider art as a preferred gifting option during special occasions because it is an asset class that appreciates in value. By so doing, you do not need to break the bank to give an artwork as a present. You also do not need to travel this road alone, you can seek out art advisory firms like Patrons who are experts in the field: [email protected]
In general, giving art as a gift distinguishes you from the crowd on memorable occasions.

Will you try art giving this season?
Keturah Ovio