31 Mar 2009

Good time for quality works to emerge

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

With summer approaching there is a slow down of sorts in art activities. As has been the trend in the last couple of years there are fewer art exhibitions that are organized during this period. Apart from that the economic recession too has hit the art market in a big way. Some galleries have even closed shop completely, or partially. There have been instances where certain branches in some cities have closed down, or where some galleries are now opening only by prior appointment. Footfalls have reduced drastically in galleries, and gallery sources reveal that walk-ins are a rare sight these days.

What can a buyer or artist do during this phase?
This is a disconcerting time for people who are interested in art – there are fewer art shows to attend and thereby reduced interaction with other art connoisseurs. On the bright side, this happens to be a good time for those who buy art - either for its investment value or simply because they are passionate about it. Prices are low now and that is an added incentive for many buyers. And, there are works by many young artists on sale, practically everywhere. Due to the relaxed pace of affairs, most artists are also producing better quality works. This is also a good time to learn more about art. One can attend lectures or workshops wherever possible and visit museums. Reading about art always helps.

In the recent past, there has been considerable interest in young and upcoming artists who are talented. However, it is important for such artists to produce a substantial body of work and plan for a long term career. There are a sufficient number of people who are looking at commissioning artists with specific requirements and artists could keep an eye open for opportunities as well. As an artist one should also experiment more during this phase.

The good thing about this phase is that some exceptional works will get created in the process. As quality will take precedence over quantity, it will benefit the art market as a whole.

(Published in Financial Times)

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