10 Sep 2007

Gaining ground with investors - Sculptures

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

There is an increased awareness about Indian contemporary art and with the maturing of the market, art collectors and investors have become more discerning. As a result there is a growing interest in forms of art other than paintings. Sculptures are a centuries old art form, which were created in various mediums such as wood, stone, clay, and bronze. Ancient sculptures are representative of that era and form an important link in understanding the living conditions, values and other concepts of that period. For instance, Greek sculptures focused on the human form and the freestanding statues were detailed and life-like. Gods and goddesses were also given form through sculptures. All of Michelangelo’s statues depicted muscular bodies that symbolized power and strength. His ‘David’ is a fine example in marble from this period and is perhaps the most famous statue of all times. Art collector, Porus Vazifdar laments, "Sculpture has for long been the second cousin of other art media (read painting). This part of the art market is still unspoiled - fewer fakes, less hyped prices, higher entry barrier. It would be heartening to see galleries and dealers promote more works of established sculptors than of new and untested painters.”

In the contemporary art scene, more and more artists are turning to sculptures. Sculptures offer ease in experimentation and multiple choices in mediums. Art Consultant Umesh UV explains, “Sculptures are picked up selectively by real collectors and not by everyone like paintings.” The only problem with sculptures is the amount of space they take up. Umesh says, “Place is a big criteria! Where do I keep just one head of Ravinder Reddy? Also, often price bands are low when there are 9 editions. Some consider this as a 'factory made' concept and do not like it.”
G Reghu
Prices of sculptures are considered to be low compared to paintings. Vazifdar believes, “Like in painting, there is a revolution waiting to happen.” Sculptures are coming into their own is obvious from the fact that in the upcoming Sotheby’s auction, a Subodh Gupta mixed media life size sculpture has been priced between 200,000 – 250,000 USD, a G Reghu bronze sculpture between 8,000 – 12,000 USD and a Sudarshan Shetty mechanical sculpture with dentures is priced between 18,000 – 22,000 USD.

(Published in Financial Times)
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