Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My views on the current Indian art market !

Well, its been a long time since I updated my blog, all financial markets have gone down further and so the over heated art market finally is coming down. Sales have stopped as everyone now takes a view as to who all would survive this recession. My view on this subject is quite simple, artists who have the humility to accept the new market realities would survive, also some of them just kept painting or doing the same concept to death, they would fall on the side.

To give you an example of the new market realities, just look at the TV Santosh work in the saffronart auction, it was an above average work ( not excellent though) and it went for 27 lacs for a 54 by 70 inch work,just 6 months back you would have been lucky to get it for even 80 lacs, so that is the kind of drop in prices we are talking about, Subodh Gupta, undoubtedly India's top contemporary artist has seen prices come down from 4-5 Crores to 1 crore and in private deals even at 80 lacs. This is the reality of the art market, a lot of blogs and gallery owners, art fund managers, so called curators would go on about how we should buy what we like and art is not about the value per square feet and all that.

I was surprised to see Hema Upadhayay works sold at Bodhi Singapore and in auctions immediately, most of them could not even manage a premium over what they were sold at. She is currently doing a show at Nature Morte, but over production never helped anyone.She is hardly moving and who is going to buy her work at 16 lacs when at Christie's she could only manage 13 !

I also feel its a great time to start collecting and your budget could be anything, I will detail out my favourite picks in my next blog but not before I dissect some shows and auction results for you !

Till then keep on reading !

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why Invest in Indian Contemporary art ? Part 2

In this post we are going to talk about, how to start investing in art. Don't get me wrong,I am not against art aesthetics or buying art just for enjoying it but then this blog is just not about that only. So read on,only if you not only like to enjoy your art but approach it like any other asset class. The advantage with art is that you can enjoy the work while it appreciates in value unless you are saddled with a work that you enjoy but it has no investment value, like 90% of the art that you would buy in galleries or buy without research.

So how should you start.....

  • The first key is to start reading, the best magazine that you get on the Indian art space is Arts India which is a quarterly and always comes late ! The magazine is well laid out and has interesting articles, form the advertisements you come to know what is really happening in the art world with solo shows and exhibitions.

  • The second magazine is Art & Deal to start with, its getting better by the day but lacks critique so its more like a round up of whats happening instead of really interesting articles, that's an area where they can improve on. So head to the news stand and start reading.

  • Become a member of http://www.indianartnews.com/ as its the best social networking website on Indian art today, read some of the discussions there.

  • Here is a short cut so that you at least have some basics to start with as an exercise, log on to http://www.saffronart.com/ and go the previous auctions section, now make a list of all artists which have been repeated in the contemporary auctions not the modern ones, this will give you a list of 20 odd names and these are the ones to start tracking, so no buying till now but just track these artists across various auctions in Saffronart to see how their price has moved over the years.

I think this is a quite a lot before you move on to the next post, Happy Reading !

Do leave your comments or suggestions, If I can help with anything !

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why invest in Indian Contemporary art ? Part 1

The moment someone recommends that you invest in Indian contemporary art, is your response any of the following......

  • I don't understand art or valuation of art, I have no idea what to buy, how to buy and generally I think people are crazy to be paying 1-50 lacs for a painting !
  • It is safer to invest in shares of companies you understand(This has really changed in the last few days as no one really saw this massive crash coming !), Gold, Fixed deposits,Real Estate or other easy to understand assets
  • I don't know how to buy, research or sell a painting, the appreciation that people talk about or I read in the Economic times or magazines, is it for real ?
  • Too complicated for me, I can enjoy a nice painting but it cannot be an asset class on its own, who buys art ?

Well, then welcome to this blog where I will take each of these questions and share the responses with you threadbare !

Think about all the responses to the questions or comments mentioned above before you jump to the next blog post,your learning in how to invest in Indian contemporary art has begun !


Kapil Chopra

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Welcome to the magical world of Indian art !

Welcome to the magical world of Indian art !

The financial markets all over the world are in a tailspin and all I read nowadays are warning bells for the Indian contemporary and modern art market, so why start a blog at this time ?!

This blog is for all those people who are just getting in to invest in Indian art, this blog will take you through all the pitfalls and how you can prosper from this asset class.Also after understanding the basics of investing in 15 days, you have to promise to read and I will guide you through this journey which I after tireless reading discovered gave me the knowledge to beat more than 95 % of the galleries, collectors and advisors as they all had a vested interest. This blog salutes the Indian investor and as Khushwant Singh says has "Malice towards one and all" especially if you are a gallery,artist or an art advisor. This blog will help you in......

  1. Understanding the Indian art market without the usual long drawn out notes on art history and our glorious culture, yes we all know that so no point in repeating it.
  2. Valuation of art- How are artworks of Indian artists valued and what is the pricing logic, I will use my extensive experience in stock markets and other asset classes to guide you as to how I made an enviable art portfolio in less than 18 months and how to avoid the sharks ! I say sharks because there is no price transparency in this market and half the guys who will say that art is all about the aesthetics, yes it is but its all about the money, honey !
  3. This blog will tell you on how to invest in art even if you have a budget of Rs.10,000 and how that can appreciate in the 2-5 year time frame where you enjoy the work on your wall and it grows in the financial space also giving better returns than stocks, Real estate and other asset classes.
  4. Also, if you ever ask us a buying question, we promise to give you a real insider view on whats happening in the art world and guide you.
  5. Views on current art shows,artists to buy and also Galleries and curators to look out for in this journey, also artists never to buy, how to avoid art shows organised by private banks and wealth management divisions and protect your capital.

Happy Reading and join me on this wonderful journey, do post in your comments and if I say something that you don't agree with , I appreciate your views so nothing personal !


Kapil Chopra