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Thinking to Buy Indian Art: Revisit These Facts from FICCI

Art is also seen as a lucrative and promising prospect for investments. With the rising living standards of the millennials, they are now looking out for unconventional ways to invest their hard-earned money in something aesthetic. So, you need to check the temperature of the waters you are planning to dive in. Visual Art is a wide genre which includes myriad varieties of art namely:-

  1. Paintings
  2. Photography
  3. Sculptures
  4. Murals
  5. Graffiti
  6. Antiques
  7. Miniatures
  8. Installations

But, the KPMG in collaboration with FICCI has prepared a report to check the temperature for you. The report named ‘Visual arts Industry in India: Painting the Future’ has taken into view the three aspects of Visual art as the subject matter of this report.

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The Tip of the Iceberg

The art industry at the global level in the year 2016 witnessed a drop in sales of 11% from the last year closing at USD56.6 billion. The downward trend has been observed in the last two years. In 2014, the sales of artworks around the world amounted to USD68.2 billion. If we compare the figures from 2014 to 2016, we see there is a decline of 17% in sales. This reason for this depreciation was dipping sales in the sub-sectors of the art industry especially the art auction market.

The top three players on the global platform in the art industry in the year 2016 were:-

  1. The United States of America with a share of 40%
  2. The United Kingdom with a share of 21%
  3. The people’s Republic of China with a share of 20%

In 2011, however, China surpassed the U.S.A., who has been leading the race ever since.

2017 came with its Pandora’s Box in India. The Indian art world saw a decline in sales amounting to 6% from the previous year. The art market saw sales of around INR14.6 billion. The reason behind this decline was ascribed to the government’s decision to go for enforcing the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Demonetization.

Both of them affected the different sources of sales in art. Demonetization struck the sales of art galleries and GST was responsible to affect the sales of auction houses due to initial implementation glitches that surfaced.

According to Sonal Singh, Director, India Business Development and Senior Specialist, Christie’s India Private Limited,” The growth of the Indian art market has been steady over the past few years and we have seen collectors becoming more knowledgeable of art and aware of their tastes. The focus has remained on the quality and these have seen particularly strong interest, achieving corresponding prices at an auction. Having said this, the pool of exceptional works is getting smaller and finding such works has become a lot harder for sellers and buyers alike.”

The art market in India has seen many days of glory and damnation. If we talk in economic terms, the industry saw a bullish trend in the year 2013. This year Christie’s launched its Indian version here. It is one of the leading auction houses in the world and conducted its first live auction in 2013. Total sales it facilitated amounted to INR0.97 billion in 2013. The subsequent years also saw a bullish trend with a growth rate of 10% in 2014 and 18% in 2015.

However, the sales declined in the coming years because of the reasons mentioned above. But, the year was not full of dark shadows only. Take pride to buy Indian art as in the same year Classical Indian art witnessed growth in double digits. Saffornart, which is a leading online art gallery based in India, left behind Christie’s and Sotheby’s for having beaten them by receiving 5% more sales.

You May Buy Indian Art from These Places

Auction houses and Art galleries

Art galleries are one of the leading players in the Art market in India. According to the latest figures, India houses more than 1500 art galleries and six auction houses. But, auction houses like Christie’s are gradually increasing their shares in the art market. If we compare the shares in the total sales contributed by art galleries and art auction houses, the former towers at 64% and the latter at a mere 36%.

Contemporary Indian artworks are the first choice of any art collector. Art aficionados are focused on aesthetic as well as monetary value of the artwork that depends on various factors namely, the style in which it is painted, the period in which it was conceived and made, the durability of the painting if it would be used as an investment, the prospects of re-sale value, to name a few.

However, the prices have hiked due to high demand which has opened gates for classical antiquities to claim their stake. Collectors are now open to different options too. Indian classical artworks are durable and affordable. The day is not far when traditional Indian art would rule the art world both nationally and internationally.

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