Red Centre Gallery - Aboriginal Art
Australian Aboriginal Art - Red Centre Gallery


Buying Aboriginal Art

A Guide to Buying Australian Desert Art - A Dot Painting may not be what it appears to be.

Australian Aboriginal Art
Both Aboriginal art and Authentic Aboriginal art are offered for sale. 

Aboriginal style art can be produced by anybody, anywhere. Authentic Aboriginal art is artwork that has been made by Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people.

If you are interested in acquiring authentic Australian Aboriginal art, the following facts may assist you in your buying decisions.

The artists name or title of the work sounding aboriginal is not enough proof that it is authentic.

Art advertised under an Aboriginal category does not have to be authentic Australian Aboriginal art.

A photograph of the artist holding the painting can be offered as proof of origin. That is no guarantee that the artist produced this particular work.

People who have bought Australian Aboriginal art and later found it not to be genuine may re-sell with-out disclosing the real facts. 

Carry out research on the painter and seller.  Be informed before you buy.

Complications in ownership can occur. It some instances, the owner of the paintings storyline has been named as the painter, or several people may have taken part in the production of a painting.

Certificates of authenticity can be offered as proof of origin. These Certificates are created by individuals and organizations and can vary between communities. They do not completely guarantee that the work is authentic.

The Association of Northern, Kimberley and Arnhem Aboriginal Artists have released   “The Purchasing Australian Aboriginal Art Consumer Guide” to help people understand this market.

The National Indigenous Arts Advocacy Association (NIAAA) developed in 2000, the Label of Authenticity, a trademark to protect buyers of  authentic Aboriginal art. As of 2006  NIAAA is no longer operating this label.

As of May 2007, there is no national certification system that authenticates Australian indigenous cultural products

Aboriginal art catalogues for auctions are a good source for researching Aboriginal painters, paintings and their values.

Be aware that sometimes the copyright to an artists work is retained by the artist. This allows the artist to produce and sell copies of this work.

It is in the interests of art enthusiasts to protect the authenticity of Australian Aboriginal artwork. The sale of copies made by non-Indigenous people not only devalues Aboriginal Art in general but it also means that the profits from these sales will not go to the Aboriginal artist or community.

This article is by Kiambasa of Australian Apitherapy

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