Sunday, January 25, 2009

My views on the Best Galleries and websites !

I have often been asked on how do I really get the information on all the artists, the shows and the galleries, so here are some of my secrets on doing that from the comfort of your home and also my honest views on some of the galleries I have worked with.

Now, I can afford to be brutally honest as this is not a commercial venture, I am not recommending any gallery, telling you to buy another artist, not building a halo around me for being an art critic and so on, I am an art collector, read a lot about art, have some very good friends who are more knowledgeable than me on this subject. I just learn from them, merge it with my acquired knowledge, use my experience of other asset classes and then give you a real frank opinion of what's happening in the art world and how you can be a savvy collector.

Well, before you start reading this, be very alert when a gallery tells you that this is an artist you should hold for 7-10 years as that means even they don't where the artist is going, 7-10 years as you will forget about the work even if the artist stops selling. Look at art history, some of the top names of 1990's just vanished after the first crash and so collectors are actually sitting with art that has only aesthetic value. I have just heard so much of this illogical gibberish that I am honestly fed up, why would you put in 20 lacs and then just forget about it in the name of building a collection ? ! What this does is that it gives people enough time to at least con you more and make the neat packet they make.

Buy a work you like, research the artist, look at the gallery promoting, enjoy the work, contemplate on the future of the artist, a right gallery makes sure the artist is seen and shown in the right galleries and promoted well.Also even from an investment perspective don't buy to flip as you will then fail and may be caught on the top of the pyramid with no buyers at your price. I read up tonnes of material on an artist before I make the buying decision and speak to some really intelligent people for their views on the artist and then use my own judgement. Have I still made mistakes ? Yes ! I have and I will dedicate a complete post to that later, you will end up laughing your guts out on how I approached buying art.

Well here are the top 3 galleries that I really like as I love their attention to detail, the artists they represent and also their presence on the net so people like me and others can check it out. I will also give you a couple of galleries who are well regarded but have real poor presence on the net, they don't believing in sharing information and have outdated websites, but collectors swear by them, so please visit them in person, my take is that please close down your website if you cannot update it, why the formality !

1. Sakshi Gallery - Located in Colaba, Mumbai, they are one of the most professional galleries I have worked with, they will post all the images on the website, are quick with the responses and have some of the top artists represented. Have good young talent that you should watch out for in Gurusidappa and Anirban Mitra, I bought the Anirban from them and it was a pleasure working with them. Both Geeta & Usha are really nice people in this space and run a tight ship.Visit them at

2. Nature Morte/Bose Pacia- Peter Nagy runs Nature Morte in New Delhi and he is undoubtedly a very influential figure in the contemporary space. In the art boom, a mere mention of an artist by him would lead to a sold out show. They had the worst website that could ever be designed and now thankfully have revamped it with a great website, you know all the future shows, images are updated in time and its a delight to surf it. This is a must visit website as you get a fair idea on whats happening in the art world and also because they are really good at what they do. Visit them at and you can also check out

3.Kashi Art Gallery - Anoop and Dorrie run this lovely gallery and last year celebrated 10 years of running the gallery. They have represented some of the brightest stars on the Indian art scene and their Kashi award given every year to promising artists is close to a sure shot sign of going ahead and buying the artist. I bought some Shreyas Karle works for them and in all fairness they would not send the images to me but were insistent on putting them online at 6 PM that day so everyone had an equal chance to see and buy. Do visit their website at and track the Kashi awards in September every year.They take their art very seriously and that is why its a pleasure to work with them. They could improve on their website though.

Now the 2 galleries that can really improve, Gallery Chemould is one of the most respected galleries in the art world, please visit the website and you will see that works available has not been updated for months, an email for a request to update had a very polite response of them not doing it on the net, they why have a presence ?

Gallery Ske, again very well respected in new age media and very different art from what you generally see but exhibition images are never updated on time, although they have a very good archive section of past exhibitions. Now, for a new media gallery to be not good in this respect is not really understood and also never got a response to an email that I sent so best of luck with them !

Enjoy your art but please read and consult your gallerists and advisors before you buy anything. Also if they tell you this 10 year story, you know where they should be going ! and then their are always better ways to lose money !

Till, my next post on the 31st, have a great time !


Radha said...

Kapil, this is extremely useful information...especially for newcomers to the Indian art scene like us. It is such a maze out there - and one feels nervous especially after the Raza fake scare at even a reputed place like Dhoomimal - so your kind of first hand insights and tips is very handy. Keep buying, and keep blogging.

Umesh U V said...

Great going Kapil, thanks for the info
Umesh U V

Bharat is said...

Very well written. Very real. About a world increasingly inhabited by con-men. Excellent pointers as to what to watch out for.