Covid lockdown is a blessing in disguise for the art market – The New Indian Express

Express news service

In recent quarters, the art world has recorded astronomical auction prices for master pieces. Galleries such as Saffronart, Pundoles and others have seen collectors pay unprecedented prices for works.
Ashvin Rajagopalan, director of the Piramal Foundation of Art, says that “The production of works of art was initially limited. But now artists are working on small volume paintings. “Bidding on each other is a whole different matter.” Many world records were broken between September and April, this year with only April 2021 having seen auctions of Rs 260 crore, ”he said, adding that“ the sales are good because a lot of people have won. money in business and also a lot of people have withdrawn from alternative investments and placed them in art which is safer.

The Indian art market was valued at around Rs 200 crore in 2000 and has grown to around Rs 1,700 crore in 2020, and if it follows this trajectory by 2040, it will reach around Rs 16,000 crore per year, so you have to reckon with the TCCA, ”says Rajagopalan. “Artists enjoy seclusion and solitude without any disturbance or interference,” says Paresh Maity, a leading modern Indian artist. If they can work alone for long periods of time, that’s the best thing for them from a productivity standpoint.

Artist Paresh Maity at work during lockdown

No phone calls, long periods of meditation, reduced travel and reduced interruptions, reduced meetings are all optimal for any working artist, he says. “Yet remember that the world has been in crisis and if you look at World War I and WWII these are the times when the best art in human history was created. Take the example of Picasso’s Guernica.

Struggles can be used to produce the best art and when they are alone. “I mostly work when I’m on my own which has been easier to do while in lockdown,” Maity said, adding that her work process has become much more intense. He says the air was clearer, the sky was clearer, the sun was shining brighter, and the eternal quest for peace and quiet became easier to work and produce. Today, modern and contemporary artists are better than most on the world stage, but it’s starting to happen and these are potential reasons prices are going up.

One of the reasons for the price hike is that the number of collectors of some senior artists who are no longer alive is increasing faster. “The unfortunate story is that living artists don’t see the value of their work as well as when they don’t. Gaitonde’s funeral required fundraising as her work is currently breaking world price records, so it’s worth noting, ”said Maity.

Exhibitions became easier to market to a wider audience, as they were all online and thus attracted large audiences regardless of geographic areas and borders. Major auction houses, including Christies and Sotheby’s, have conducted more than 100 online auctions each year in response to demand from collectors and investors. Javed Abdulla, a professional art consultant who has worked with international art houses, says the pandemic has not been a leveler and that there are top buyers whose wealth has multiplied and who sales have therefore increased disproportionately.

He mentions the recent oriental art auction conducted by Sotheby’s which has had good results in recent weeks. in the end, that’s what art does, ”says Maity. (The author is a senior journalist based in Mumbai)

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