(By Nalini S Malaviya)
In the recent months there has been a definitive shift in the kind of art that is being displayed at exhibitions across major centers in the country. The works have evolved and become more experimental in nature. Interestingly, many mainstream artists too are experimenting with new mediums.
New media art or installations, video and digital art are increasingly seen now and are also gaining acceptance in a wider audience. Although, these new media works have been around for several years, their sales were limited to a select group of art collectors and connoisseurs. Some of the artists who are experimenting with new media are Gigi Scaria, Pushpamala N, Manjunath Kamath, Riyaz Komu, Shilpa Gupta, Vivan Sundaram, Surekha and Sudarshan Shetty. In fact, sales of this form of art has picked up in the recent months. Collectors are now on the lookout for newer concepts that have been presented through novel media. And, although, conventional art, such as paintings and sculpture continue to be popular with its patrons, it does appear that the trend is moving perceptibly towards newer forms of art.
International auctions too have been including new media art, but now that there are so many artists who are gravitating towards this genre, that collectors have to be cautious about evaluating the investment potential of each of these.
Still, this is an exciting phase for collectors and investors. There is a lot of activity happening in the field of art and the choices have widened too. And, there is every indication that the Indian art scene is looking up, and although at this point sales may not reflect this trend to that extent it should be a matter of time before the art market sees the loosening of purse strings. Reports and analyses regarding the amount of time it would take for the Indian art market to recover actively varies somewhat, there appears to be consensus that it should be soon enough.
(Published in Financial Times)