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Astaguru Art Recall – 2019
By Sakshi Batavia
07 Jan 2020
Over the past years we have experienced a rather roller coaster of a ride – economically, socially, politically and ecologically. Amidst all the tumultuousness, the only thing that has remained firm as the rock of Gibraltar is Art. Art has a knack of thriving and growing irrespective of its surroundings and more so during times of unrest. This is clearly attributed to the cognizance of the artists who have from time and again rendered the history of mankind – be it with their brush strokes or words or simply, ideas. The past year though not as economically feasible had its shining moments and we are here to talk about it.
How did the art world perform?
Indian Art has been at a steady growth curve since its downfall, back in 2008. Though not impervious to world economical discord, art has successfully managed to stay relevant. With art sales across the globe fetching sizable yet justifiable amounts, art world has now transformed into the ‘Art Market’ and continues to grow with substantial data backing it.
AstaGuru has had nine successful auctions in the past year with 88% of the revenue generating from art and 12% from non-art categories. The non-art category has seen an increase of 4% since its 2018 value (of 8%). This is clearly indicative of the response the newer segments have garnered and a boost for its launching platforms in the market.
AstaGuru’s Southeast Asian Contemporary Art Auction saw many Asians artists debuting on an Indian art platform. Amongst these, Takashi Murakami and Yue Minjun, emerged as most sought-after. This shows that the Indian audience is highly mindful about not just the Indian Art but international art as well.
Former generation of art collectors seem to be passing on the baton to the younger generation. The burgeoning class of individuals with high spending capability have facilitated the shift in the way we see, interpret and buy art. Millennials who have come into acquisition of wealth are slowly and gradually realizing the potential of art as an alternate and viable investment.
What are they buying?
Old Master artists such as S.H Raza, M.F Husain, F.N Souza, Tyeb Mehta, Jamini Roy, to name a few, have without a doubt been at the fore front of the parade. But the contemporary artists are rightfully taking their place as the champions of the future. It is said that ‘the contemporaries of today are the masters of tomorrow’ and this holds true with the upcoming class of young art collectors, who are buying not just art but concepts. Conceptualization is the basis of all contemporary art and it is the thought process that appeals to the buyers. Old masters have already perfected the western techniques in their works and the contemporaries are exploring newer ways that are not necessarily limited to the decorative aspects of art. People have developed the need to be moved by art and resonate with what they see, thus we see more art or concepts that urge the viewer to contemplate and comprehend the artwork on their own rather than the artist explaining their works. Art has been a medium for individuals to project their personalities and more so today as we live in an age of unrestrained self-expression.
What to expect in the future?
With the online space having received much prominence in the last decade, we will continue to see more advancements on the digital front. The democratization of the art market has served as an entry point for many new art enthusiasts. Due to the ease of accessibility and increasing transparency, art is no longer selective to an elusive few but reaching out to more and more individuals.
An increasing number of young investors (below the age of 40) will park their monies in art and collectibles. In order to cater to their need to seek a connection to the art they purchase, real time art market analysis and sales records will increase considerably and be diligently documented over time.
With the advancement of technology and digitization of the human experience, art shall become a revolutionary medium to project ideas and concepts, even bring about social and cultural reforms. Art world will see a paradigm shift in its fundamentals as mankind progresses towards a digital future.