Friday, August 17, 2012

Not a scenario ripe for quick gains  

Top market players are focusing on quality in order to target discerning buyers. However, this is not a market for those looking to make quick money, but ideal for committed collectors, ready to pick precise works at attractive prices. Here’s a quick round-up of the art scene as recently reported by top news publications and agencies:

Heena Khan of The Business Line underlined the fact that in spite of poor economic growth and faltering stock markets globally, art markets remain buoyant. The resistance offered by them to the fiscal crisis can be attributed to the phenomenal rise of the Asian art market. In 2008, when the investment-driven art market crashed, 70 per cent of the Indian art market was led by contemporaries and only 30 per cent by masters. Now, it’s 90 percent masters. Also, what we’ve at present is a slowdown where people can plan their purchase. Art is a limited edition product. It is a buyer’s market, so it is bound to appreciate,” quipped Ajay Seth of Copal Art.

For Tunty Chauhan of gallery Threshold, the bygone phase was an aberration, but the current dull stage is a corrective measure. “It will eventually churn out quality work. And artworks won’t be selling purely on the basis of names,” the gallerist was recently quoted as saying.

So what are the factors that will draw collectors and investors to Indian art? Apart from the investment angle, in sheer aesthetic and thematic terms, Indian art is drawing the global attention. Economic growth and urbanization coupled with the increasing intervention of cutting-edge technologies have dramatically altered India’s socio-economic landscape over the last couple of decades.

Socially sensitive, talented contemporary artists highlight this irony through their practice placed in a global context.  Their themes are intimately linked with the local ethos and they tactfully assess the impact of globalization and other pressure points for drastic change in a society still heavily reliant on tradition.

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