Saturday, November 19, 2011

India Art Collective - India's Online Art Fair - A perspective

Dear Friends,

I am posting on the blog after a long time !

Well here is my frank take on The Indian Contemporary Art scene and more importantly on India Art Collective, India's first online art fair which opened to the public recently.

I surfed the entire online fair and found it indeed a great initiative in the Indian art scene.We had the VIP online art fair in the US and although the VIP art fair had its share of technical glitches, it still has impressive galleries in its upcoming second edition.

Coming back to the India Art Collective, Sapna Kar who has done some key charity auctions around the country and Swapnil who I know from her earlier days at The Oberoi, are the two people who introduced me to the concept. I liked the idea a lot because I firmly believe that the future is online. Speak to any important gallery with top end programming and most of the business gets conducted online.

Dinesh and Minal changed the game of online art sales with maybe the only successful predominantly art auction website, Saffronart when others had failed internationally to sell art this way. The success of Saffronart inspired many and I have always used their auction archives to research price movements in the Indian art space.

What Sapna and her team have done is brave by any standards, they have not only convinced the galleries to join in an online art fair but also tried to introduce price transparency in a market which has no clue on pricing to say the least. I see so many same pieces by artists, same sizes, nearly the same quality and the galleries have differential pricing !

But that should not discourage you from surfing the art fair online.So, take out some time and travel through a journey of Indian Contemporary art as nowhere will you get a range as diverse as this in terms of genre or pricing points.

All, I can say is that there are some great deals available from the galleries who have got it right and then there are some galleries who have just no clue and the works are priced incorrectly.

I liked quite a lot of shows online, my favorites are Gallery Ske and Vadehra Art gallery, nice works and it made me go back again to have a look.

It is important that galleries and artists learn that if they sell 2 works in a year, then that is not the true value of their work and in a transparent medium like this they maybe tempted to price higher until unless you are an established artist or gallery and completely secure about your price.

So do no hesitate to ask for a discount, send an email or make a call !

Overall, very refreshing and a very nice initiative, so do log in NOW !



Kapil Chopra is Senior Vice President of Oberoi Hotels & Resorts.He writes a blog on collecting and investing in Indian Contemporary Art at also writes for The Telegraph Newspaper in the Sunday magazine " Graphiti" every fortnight. In Delhi, he writes for "The Mail Today " Newspaper and the "First City" Magazine.