Sunday, January 4, 2009

Artists to buy in these times ! Part 1

Here is my list in all categories of artists that I would like to buy, enjoy and invest in. The key principle is to enjoy the art you buy, you should like it and that's important, secondly you should buy it at the right value and last, buy art that is investment worthy. Do not buy art recommended by the bored housewives club (80 % of all art galleries in India qualify in this category ), look at the background of the artist, education, inspiration for work, gallery promoting the artist and where all has that art been shown. As most of the people who will follow this blog when I release it open for public viewing be new or fairly new art enthusiasts, hence I will restrict the values to under Rs.30 lacs to start and start with Rs.10,000.So here is my top pick in each category to start with....

(Sominum Genero)

  • 30 -35 lacs category - I just love these guys, they are the most intelligent artists I have ever met, they research in detail as to what they would like to paint and then follow the theme through. The works and installation look nice, have a theme and they have international collectors lining up for their work. They have shown at key fairs like Art Basel, FIAC and others and were in the news recently with their show at Mori Musuem. Wallapaper magazine ranked them among the top 101 designers in the world and they are Thukral & Tagra. They are my top pick in this category, for the level of international interest they generate, their art and the logic behind, make them great artists to buy. In the Asia Contemporary Sothebys sale where only 19 of the 31 lots sold, their work went for over 110 lacs when some top Indian artists failed to sell, that is not a criteria but just a comment. Their interesting work on AIDS, Somnium Genero ( dreams ) and Bosedk are some of the key series that they have worked on. Difficult to get a work of theirs, till you are on the collector list of Peter Nagy and gallery Nature Morte( Pricing is for a 6 by 6 work in the primary market, they have had a work at Saffronart sold for less but according to the artists it was a part of a series and should not have been sold on its own.


(Black Star)

  • 3-5 lacs category - This is a great category, its affordable and if you like her art, then I believe in some years she will be in the above mentioned category. She is one of the young stars on the horizon, very talented and has already shown at Art Basel, her work was sold out at Armoury and at Fiac in October. Her work has been placed at the world famous Musuem of Modern Art ( MOMA) in the US and she recieves rave reviews from all art critics, Seher Shah as a notable art collector says is a "superstar". She is known for her drawings and her prints, I like both, the thing to die for her are her large prints around 60 by 36 inches in her series on Jihad Pop and Projective 1 & 2. Visit her website and for her work details and do buy her if you can get any of the sizable works. The work shown above is a series of smaller works under the name Black Star, I like the bigger works which will be priced now at around USD 8,000 to 10,000 whenever they are released, the size for the older works was around 60 inches by 36 inches and they were sold between USD 3,000 to 5,000 but none available now.


(Har Darwaze Pe Likha Hai Rehne Wale Ka Naam)

  • Rs.10,000 -20,000 - Yes, you read it right ! you can start investing and buying art that you like even at this value and it is investment worthy. Shreyas Karle has won the Bodhi award and then followed it up with the Kashi Award for a promising artist, passing out from Baroda, he is quite refreshing in his approach and again very intelligent. I have been following his work for long and was very impressed with his award winning show " Har Darwaza pe likha hai rehne wale ka naam" at Kashi art gallery ( All the doors have an identity in these limited edition works and are smiling or dancing, very quirky and nice works, the show opened recently and I remember Dorrie telling me that it was sold out in 3 hours ! Works were sold at 10,000 each and I believe he is someone to watch out for in the coming times. The size was 11 by 15 inches and with 2 Artist proofs plus 7 editions.

These are the artists who according to me are in the best buy category even in these recessionary times and more so now because you may not get good quality works at the prices that you can get them now at. Two out of three come from Nature Morte/ Bose Pacia due to respect that I have for Peter Nagy and the work that he has done to promote Indian contemporary art. Although in my last blog post, I did not agree with their pricing on Hema Upadhayay who is terribly over priced, also over producing and in my avoid category for the time being. My next blog will highlight some other artists that I really like, are international in their appeal and collector base and have the potential to achieve greater heights.

Ardent art lovers and collectors may get upset with my obsession on commercal aspects of buying art but this as the title suggests is "indianartinvest", I will always tell you to buy what you like and enjoy but at the right price and most important it has to be investment worthy i.e. should have potential for appreciation in the future.

Disclaimer- Please assume that I may have a vested interest in promoting these artists and may own some of the works mentioned here. Please acquire these works only after due diligence and consultations with your art advisors and gallerists.

Enjoy your art and keep on reading !

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