Monday, April 26, 2010

‘Now is a perfect time to get into contemporary Indian art.’

Indian art is collected primarily by western art collectors/ institutions and at local level, observed Peter Sumner, the Indian art specialist at Phillips de Pury. In an interview with Hasan Suroor of The Hindu, he stated:
“There are talented and young artists who have strongly established themselves on the international art scene. Their appeal lies in their unique ability to document the socio-economic changes in the modern ‘globalized' India.”
For example, in ‘Untitled Eclipse' put up for sale at BRIC sales, Jitish Kallat creates a billboard sized canvas reminiscent of the ad billboards in the major Indian cities. The orange sunrays offer the backdrop to smiling children, to point out the way to a bright future for India's new generation. Though malnourished, their smiles betray a darker existence, a reality in which they are unlikely to benefit from the social and economic progress, only widening schism between the rich and poor.

On the other hand, Subodh Gupta in his work transforms everyday objects into recognizable trademarks, which reflect the great changes taking place in India today. It’s this pointed social commentary collectors and buyers identify with, relate to and recognize. Explaining the extent to which the market for contemporary Indian art has grown and whether it has lived up to expectations and the hype, Peter Sumner stated:
"In 2008, auction sales of Indian art raised nearly $24 million globally with Subodh Gupta breaking the $1 million barrier for the first time. This was the culmination of rapid growth of the global market for Indian art market after economic liberalization in India. After large adjustments in the market place during 2009 India is once again becoming a focus point for the international art market — and is continuing to live up to the expectations.

"Confidence in long-term sustained growth is the dominant sentiment in the contemporary Indian art market. Buying is from India, U.K,, Europe and the U.S. with corporate institutions also playing their part within the context of contemporary Indian art sales.”
With prices having reached attractive levels and with the economy set to grow faster than the western economies, now is a perfect time to get into contemporary Indian art, he advises.

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