Ask Roxane: "How Do I Buy Art Online?"

Roxane Zand, Sotheby's Middle East, Art, Ask Roxane
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Roxane Wears: Dress, Dhs7475, Roksanda at Etoile “la Boutique

"More and more buyers are choosing to buy art online. This includes young and first-time buyers, but certainly does not exclude seasoned ones."

At sixty-something, Roxane Zand, deputy chairman of the Middle East at Sotheby’s, has made it to the top of her profession as a Middle Eastern mother and mentor. Sharing her wealth of life experience, Iran-born, Harvard- and Oxford-educated Roxane on what’s lighting up her radar this month...

What is a good pick-me-up?

I want to feel fresh for the year ahead. There is no pick-me-up to rival a good night’s sleep. Deep, uninterrupted 7-8 hours’ sleep revitalise cells at the molecular level, helps the brain re-calibrate and detoxify, and boosts the immune system. “To sleep, perchance to dream,” was not just a Shakespearean turn of phrase, the dream state is vital in the rejuvenation process. The science is indisputable and the jury has voted, no amount of ginseng or caffeine can do for the body what sleep offers in terms of energy. So how does one get as much sleep as needed? Our digitised, online lives are not conducive to good sleep, since the human body was designed to correlate with the diurnal rhythm. All this blue light in communal buildings, plus lack of adequate daily exercise means that many have trouble falling asleep, and those that do, get woken up by small children, environmental noise or their own internal issues.

Sleep hygiene is essential – no caffeine, screens, stimulation such as heavy exercise, or strong emotions/circular thoughts in the evening. Wind down after a light meal and try reading a book, ‘small talk’ with your spouse, children or friend, take a warm bath, and if you’ve been out at a social function, observe your usual routine or bedtime ritual as closely as possible even if it’s late. A good-quality camomile tea, and lavender drops in the bath work a charm. And if your baby wakes you, catnap the following day. Meditating correctly also induces deep relaxation and revitalises flagging energy levels. Try an eye mask as you rest – the forty winks trick works best in an environment where the light is as low as possible. Nothing puts the spring back into your step and the twinkle in your eye as well as revving your body engine the way nature intended – through sleep and proper rest!

Roxane Zand

Morgan Lane eye mask,Dhs935, Matches Fashion

What do I need to know before buying art online? 

More and more buyers are choosing to buy art online. This includes young and first-time buyers, but certainly does not exclude seasoned ones. A great platform for emerging talent, the works of such masters as Picasso have nevertheless also appeared in online auctions and with secure, trusted sources such as the major auction houses, there is nothing more tempting than shopping from the comfort of your own home or even from your mobile. Certain online sales can be previewed at auction house premises if you happen to be in the relevant city at the right time. But even without viewing the work, little can go wrong if you are buying a well-catalogued, well-known artist from Sotheby's for example. First and foremost you must register to bid online.

This is an easy process where an account is created for you. Then you should check the terms and conditions – a few online sales still have the advantage of no buyers’ premium. The range of sales categories and merchandise is surprisingly extensive – a quick visit to the website will let you know what is upcoming. With a total of 36 online sales at Sotheby's last year, up from 16 in 2016, there is a lot to choose from: jewellery, prints, design, decorative arts, collectables, and even Old Masters. Top tips to remember, as it’s easy to forget to check something when you are buying remotely: Be detail-oriented and read all the information, terms and conditions, the size of the work and so on, and call the auction house with any queries. Monitor the auction as it proceeds since it allows you to keep track. Delivery to your doorstep and the possibility of returning property ensures a convenience few would have imagined before. Is it any surprise that the Guardian has declared this the new way of purchasing art?

Roxane Zand

After Domenico Zampieri, called Domenichino, The Cumean Sibyl, Dhs25,708-33,052, Southebys.com


From the February 2019 issue of Harper's BAZAAR Arabia.

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Roxane Zand, Sotheby's Middle East, Art, Ask Roxane
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Roxane Wears: Dress, Dhs7475, Roksanda at Etoile “la Boutique