23 Mar 2009

Art prices more realistic now?

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

In the recent past prices of paintings and sculptures have fallen considerably, and are much more realistic now. Buyers who have never bought a single work of art ever before are now looking at art from a fresh perspective. Although, art dealers and galleries are pushing art less aggressively at the moment, there are still a sufficient number of buyers who continue to invest in art. This number is drastically less compared to the scene a few years ago, but nevertheless it exists. It has been noticed that paintings that were priced over a crore a few months ago have now fallen significantly.

It also appears that most artists have reconciled to this new phase of the economic downturn, and have adjusted their prices accordingly. Galleries and dealers are also open to negotiations and are encouraging artists to price their works reasonably. However, there is a small percentage of artists who continues to be in denial about their market rates, or it could be that they have the luxury to ignore the market trend. Some of them are opting to not sell their works at all and appear to be waiting for the market to look up again.

It is also seen that a large number of works are being put up for resale. Contemporary artists, whose prices escalated exponentially in the last few years, have reached a much more stable phase, now. But, there are limited buyers who are willing to spend that amount of money on this category of artists. In fact the trend has completely shifted to young and upcoming artists, and to art that can be classified as ‘affordable’. This is a good phase for an informed buyer. The frenzied pace to pick up art, which was seen earlier, has now been replaced by a more judicious approach. Buyers are attracted towards price and quality, and not necessarily in that order.

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