Monday, May 20, 2013

Art catches fancy of new investors

The domain of art investing and collection is witnessing a significant new trend. Take the case of a top foreign bank’s managing director, one of the recent entrants to the market; he is drawn to art more by the allure of returns than the appeal of its sheer beauty.

It’s no more just the powerful professionals and companies that are chasing art as an investment option. No surprise, the Indian art market base – buoyed by new buyers - is fast growing. Prices of works by both upcoming and well-known artists have wildly fluctuated in the recent years. As more and more people are looking to buy art, there’s a good demand for the younger generation of artists.

It’s also about the demand and supply equation. In other words, the availability of artworks by a particular artist is a key aspect in determining the market price. For instance, the works of late Manjit Bawa and Tyeb Mehta are in demand since very little of their original work is now available. The scenario varies from one artist to another.

But the market volatility has failed to dent the investor enthusiasm. Interestingly, both aspiring and seasoned collectors are searching for affordable works by the emerging artists with a good investment potential. Major FMCG, auto as well as luxury goods makers and service providers – both in India and internationally - are keen to capitalize on the Indian art boom especially when western markets for art seem to have reached a saturation point.

On the other hand, there are many young professionals, who are gradually developing fondness for art. They now take keen interest in paintings and even new media works, especially those by young and upcoming artists. Even collegians are hunting for reasonably priced works. For some, it’s a passion, whereas for many, it’s an exciting investment idea.

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