24 Jun 2008

Fine Art Photography

There's reason for cheer as fine art photography emerges as the next big thing

(Nalini S Malaviya)

I met a couple of local photographers, recently, as part of a search for good photographers for an online portal. One of them, Vivek Mathew is an extremely talented youngster who has had successful shows in the city. His photographs of landscapes, objects, buildings and the monsoon (reflections in puddles and so on) were simply amazing. This, in fact is a good time to be a photographer. After the art boom, fine art photography is poised to be the next big thing in the country. Although the market is still nascent at the moment, the number of exhibitions of photographs and prints has gone up exponentially in the recent past. Mumbai and Delhi markets are comparatively a lot more mature compared to Bangalore. But, here too there are a number of exhibitions of fine art photography taking place. Varied themes such as wildlife, architecture, interiors, landscapes and people are captured through the lens and are creating waves in the art circles.

Vivek Mathew
There are now dedicated galleries and portals to showcase fine art photography, which just goes to prove how the market is evolving. Many art galleries too have begun showcasing photographic prints either as an exclusive show or as part of a multi-media exhibit. There are many painters and other artists as well who are turning to photography. With their fine art background they bring a different kind of sensibility to this art form.
Worldwide, the market has been doing well for quite some time now. Sotheby’s, Christies and other international auction houses regularly hold auctions of vintage photographs. There is a growing awareness amongst collectors and investors regarding this medium, and while the market for prints might be under developed at the moment, it is one with a lot of potential.

When investing in photographs a few things that one can keep in mind are –
· Professional background of the photographer
· Edition size (less than 15 is a good idea) – the lower the better
· Use of good quality archival paper

Some of the photographers who are considered to be established and are known to be producing good quality works are Raghu Rai, Dayanita Singh, Pablo Barthomolew and Shibu Arakkal. But this list is endless, and there are many foreign photographers too who are exhibiting in India. As an emerging medium, prints are affordable at the moment, available in the price range of Rs 20,000 to a few lakhs.

(Published in Bangalore Mirror)

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