3 Sep 2007

Indian Contemporary Art – Trends

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

Till a few years ago most people bought paintings to either decorate their homes or as part of their investment portfolio. Interest in other forms of artworks such as sculptures, digital art, and installations was limited and the number of buyers even more limited. Now, the trend seems to be slowly changing. There are many more people who are aware of the various forms of visual art and they do not hesitate to invest in sculptures, graphic art, and even conceptual art to some extent.

Traditional art such as paintings has its own set of loyal collectors, who insist the advantages with buying one are numerous. A painting can be put up easily on the walls, and although size is important, it is not crucial, and even larger works can be accommodated relatively easily. With newer forms of art, space requirement is one factor, which deters buyers. Often, one needs a larger space to display sculptures or installations. The latter in fact can take up an inordinate amount of space and may also require special considerations in terms of lighting, sound etc. With new media art, preserving it is one issue which unless addressed will not find buyers. But, then most new media artists are not looking at creating permanent art.

Sculptures, installations and digital prints are increasing in popularity both amongst artists and collectors. The advantage with sculptures, and for that matter, even some installations is that due to their three-dimensional nature the impact on the surrounding space is heightened. Again, different mediums than can be used in a sculpture for instance glass, stone, steel, copper, bronze and so on singly or in combination create an enhanced effect that alter the ambience dramatically.

The new age art buyer and collector insists that what moves him to own an artwork is irrespective of the medium. As long as he can relate to it at an emotional or intellectual way that is sufficient motivation to own the work.

(Published in Financial Times)
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