Saturday, February 28, 2009

Artists to buy in these times - Part 2

Well, its been quite some time since I updated my blog, just tied up and hence the delay in coming with a new post. Here is my second list of recommendation after the first post where I recommended that you put your money in acquiring Thukral & Tagra, Seher Shah and Shreyas Karle across various investment limits. Well here is my list on where I would put my money next and why......

  1. T.V Santosh -30-40 lacs category- Exceptional artist,humble and down to earth. During the height of the bull run in the art market went for over 2 crores for a diptych. Currently showing at Grosvenor Vadehra in London and the prices are around 42 lacs for a 5 by 7ft paintiing, this work would have been close to 80 lacs six months back, his values are close to hitting a bottom and he enjoys universal appeal with both Indian and international collectors. I don't own a work but would love to buy one close to 30 lacs, the price he went for in the last Saffronart auction. Don't buy his watercolors and just go for nice works on canvas like the one shown below. His series on the terror theme that he has been doing for sometime is definitely worth buying into. So if you have the money, go for a TV Santosh canvas !


  2. Shilpa Gupta-3-5 lacs Category - Exceptional photographer and actually its nit scenic photography but photography which conveys a message. She did this lovely series on " There is no border here " where she displayed a message tape in white colour with this sentence against the backdrop of the sky, it was a nice satire on how could there be a border in the sky and also on conflicts in the real world on borders. She did a lot of pieces but the backdrop of the sky was really the best and it went for around 10 lacs in the Saffronart auction, the rest of the works in the series were quite mediocre and a lot of them are still available. Her other interesting series was post the London metro blasts in which everyone with a bag was viewed with suspicion especially with an Asian lineage, so she had people on a metro station with white bags saying"There is no explosive in this " and getting out of a car or on the street with a white bag holding this message. Considering the focus on terrorism in the real world, I believe it is a very important body of work in today's context and will find its way into important collections and museums around the world. The most stunning piece to be bought is either go for the sky background in the border series or the red work shown here in the "There is no Explosive in this". The price range for this would be around 5-6 lacs for these 2 works and others are available at around 3 lacs but again buy only the very best and avoid the rest. The current Saffronart auction has some of the works but not these two so no point bidding !


  3. Mehreen Murtaza -60,000-80,000 category - The new breed of Pakistani artists pushing the envelope in terms of creative work in the art space is currently growing by the day. Mehreen is an exceptionally talented artist and she does these lovely prints priced at around 60-80,000 the last time I checked for a size of around 12 by 24 inches and edition of 10. Mehreen is an artist who has immense potential in the long term although I believe she should look at restricting edition sizes to less than 6 and do larger prints. Look at her work at a great art gallery run by Umer Butt in Lahore, Mehreen showed in India with Farah Siddiqui in Mumbai also but her latest body of works is available at, the only problem being buying out of Pakistan, so easier to buy out of Dubai and a star on the horizon. Look at the images of the series she has done here to get an idea of her potential and at these values you really cant go wrong !


Well, next time lets look at the Saffronart auction results (some great works especially NS Harsha but overall a really mediocre auction line up, at least 7 artists have works which are poor enough to be not even selling in a show forget being part of an auction catalogue) and let me talk to you about how some artists have positioned themselves well and how some got carried away in the bull run, failed to build relationships and need to learn to be playing for the long term !

Till then, enjoy reading, keep the comments coming and have a great day !

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