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Indian Art Market – The dark horse of the Indian economy.
By Sakshi Batavia
19 Dec 2019
Art is always referred to as an ‘alternative’ or ‘non-traditional’ form of investment. But the Indian art market has seen a paradigm shift in this outlook in the past decade. We have assessed as to how Indian Art can play a pivotal role despite being a seemingly reclusive industry and how it is gaining more recognition as a bankable investment class.
To begin with, why are the economists considering art as an important segment to explore? The art and culture of a country act as a binding force integrating the past, present and future all into one homogenous fabric that symbolizes their national pride and heritage. It plays an important role in boosting the country’s standpoint as a global soft power and attracts the rest of the world towards it; not only in the form of visitors but investments too. The Indian Art market aims to achieve exactly that and with the growing recognition over the past decade it has established it’s stance as a lucrative investment for the new influx of wealth.
How has the Indian Art Market fared in the recent past? The art market saw a stupendous boost in 2008 with sky-high values of artworks at sales and auctions across the globe. This was followed by a dip, in tandem with the global economic crash where the art world was no exception. Despite the drastic plunge, the art market has continued to grow progressively over the past decade and recovered in just 5 years; hinting at steadfast growth prospect. The emergence of auction houses and ‘art intelligence’ groups that have painstakingly recorded the performance of the Indian Art Market has ensured the stability of the trade. With the digitization of auctions and sales, it has become noticeably easier to observe the trajectory of the prices and derive scientific formulae to estimate the values of innumerable artworks. This in turn has facilitated industry experts to project the future trends of the market. Previously subject to the whims and fancies of private art dealers and undocumented transactions, these establishments have helped bring about a certain degree of transparency to the opaque industry. It is the efforts of such auction houses and art market trackers that help one make an informed decision about their purchase and has brought about a structured modus to the trade.
The International art market stands at top of the hierarchy with top artworks selling between 250 to 450 Million dollars; followed by the Chinese Art Market ranging between 30 to 50 Million dollars while the Indian Art market has been garnering sale prices between 3 to 5 Million dollars. Though the prices may seem inconsequential, we must account for the fact that Indian Art market has only been making the headlines recently. Being a fairly new entrant into the global art world, Indian Art has shown great potential for upward movement
Leading international firms such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s have recognized the innate potential of the Indian Art market and set up local bases to establish closer ties with the dealers and the audience. Having said that, regional establishments have had a lion’s share in catapulting the status of Modern Indian and Contemporary Indian Art into the global art arena. AstaGuru has achieved record sales for prominent artists such as Tyeb Mehta and Ganesh Pyne amongst others in the year 2018.
With such impactful strides and the increasing cognizance of the art enthusiasts, the Indian Art segment is no longer reckoned as ambiguous and unpredictable but a viable and thriving market. With more and more artworks coming into the limelight and the extensive knowledge available, investment in art has become a logical decision and not just a personal impulse. As the Indian populace grows and becomes increasingly aware of their rich culture and local unearthed talent, Indian Art Market will continue to grow and rise at par with the international standards. The time is now to make the most of the upward swell of the Indian Art wave and reap the benefits in the near future.