Warhol's two sisters are yours for Rs 725

Sep 17, 2011, 07:58 IST | Gretchen Ferrao

A recently launched online platform for fine art prints and posters lets you dress up your walls with the biggest names in art, at not-so-big prices

A recently launched online platform for fine art prints and posters lets you dress up your walls with the biggest names in art, at not-so-big prices

Pinning up a graphic artwork is one of the quickest ways to give a drab wall a facelift. If well-chosen, a single piece works at adding character to what could have been a mundane room. How do you do that, though, without breaking FDs to invest in an upcoming artist?

Lightness II by Andre, Fine Art Print, 20X20 inches, Rs 1,275
A Mother's Love by Amy Ringholz, Fine Art Print, 12x15 inches, Rs 925
Tree of Life by Gustav Klimt, Fine Art Print, 20x20, Rs 2,000
Palm Beach Retreat by Diane Romanello, Fine Art Print, 24x29 inches,
Rs 1,650

Siblings Nikul and Manik Sharma have the answer to that one. ArtEmporio.com is an online platform that offers prints of famous artworks. "While we were setting up our home, we encountered the absence of good-quality art at affordable prices. That's how the idea to get into the business of licenced reproductions came about," says Nikul.

A clean-lined, well-structured web design allows you to systematically browse through a catalogue of 70,000 artworks. Visitors can choose to shop by artist, subject, product type, colour or price � from Van Gogh to Warhol, posters to Giclee prints and abstracts to architecture. And if all this leaves you spoilt for choice, there's the Best Sellers section to help you on your way. Within a category, the artworks are represented by thumbnails, and labelled with the name of the painting and artist, available dimensions, print type, price, and approximate delivery time.

Clicking on a specific product links you to a rather redundant page that outlines similar details; the only additions here, being the date on which the piece was created, visitor ratings, and a preview of other works by the same artist. What would have been more helpful perhaps, is information snippets on the product and available print types.

When it comes to functionality, the website is a bit of a letdown. The 'Search by Colors' tool, for instance, is only effective when working with a pre-defined palette. Pick randomly from the RGB spectrum provided, and your chances of finding a match are slim to none. Then there's the Advanced Search feature which, besides taking eons to load, disappoints with its lack of pre-defined options for the artist, size and price parameters. Oddly, the product type parameter lists options such as Canvas Print and Original Art, which aren't part of the Gurgaon-based company's offering. 

The Gift Certificates feature is a nice idea. However, the buying process could use some refinement. The vouchers, available in eight fixed denominations (Rs 250-Rs 5,000), don't offer a multiple selection option. This means, a customer would have to fill in several forms (frustrating), if he/she wants a voucher that exceeds the given denominations.

As far as delivery goes, Nikul says, "The product is delivered within 12 to 15 days of us receiving an order. Not everything is stocked. So artists/official printers have to be contacted and shipments consolidated in the US. We update the customer via email, about the status of the shipment."

You can opt to pay via credit/debit card, net banking or cash-on-delivery. An 11-day Refund Policy takes care of any apprehensions that you may have about colour discrepancies or product quality. With its vast collection and competitive pricing, the nine-month-old ArtEmporio.com ensures a fun shopping experience. One that, with a little fine tuning, could get better. 

Log On To: www.artemporio.com
Call: 8950000789
Cost: Rs 350 onwards (poster); Rs 900 onwards (fine art print); Rs 1,500 onwards (Giclee print)

The Giclee Print
Pronounced "zhee-klay", it is French for a feminine noun that means a spray or a squirt of liquid. The word may have been borrowed from the French verb, "gicler", which means to squirt. The word came into the art world parlance in 1991 through Jack Dugamme, a print maker who worked for Nash Editions. He was looking to name a new type of print that would make the word descriptive of ink-jet technologies. Giclee prints provide for better colour sharpness than other means of production. They help artists who don't prefer mass production of their work but instead choose to reproduce their art as needed, or on-demand. The process involves digital archiving, and once done reproductions can be made with minimal effort and reasonable cost.

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