You may buy a perfect piece of art almost anywhere in India. Yes! It happens only in India. In a busy corner of a city or in the quiet heart of a village, you may encounter an artist molding a sculpture out of clay or painting a mural. These artists mainly belong to a tribe that has been involved in some form of traditional folk and tribal arts of India. You may buy Indian art at unbelievably affordable rates from them. This happens in an unregulated manner.
The market of art is regulated somehow when it comes to fine arts. There are laws to regulate the art market but these are not adequate. I would say that these legislations are still in their nascent stages. They need extensive reformation to make sure that the environment for artists is supporting. So, if you have a taste for fine arts then you will have to contact these key players who operate in the Indian art market.
Artists are endowed with a special gift of creation. He is the one who sees and hears beyond what is perceived by the worldly senses. They create art and drawing as a hobby or as a source of income. Indian art has received deserved recognition recently at national and international levels. Indian artists are also sought after by art aficionados. A decade ago, the picture was altogether different. Indian art was looked down upon by the western world due to biased opinions floating from Orientalists.
But, now the odds are gradually turning in the favor of the Indian artists. Their artworks now receive critical appraisals from around the world and now they fetch millions at international auction houses. There are many artists of the older times like V. S. Gaitonde, F.N. Souza, M.F. Hussain, Tyeb Mehta, Amrita Sher-Gil, Nasreen Mohamedi and Bhupen Khakhar whose works are admired.
Contemporary artists like Jitish Kallat, Shilpa Gupta, Bharti Kher, Paresh Maity, and Subodh Gupta and many more are an accolade for their contribution in taking forward the legacy which modern Indian Artists left behind them.
Art Galleries Established by Private Individuals
There are many art galleries in India that operate for the promotion and development of art in India. Some of them are based on dealing with artifacts and selling and buying art for earning profits. Many private art galleries are established for the purpose of the advancement of the industry as their primary concern.
Some of them have gone online and they act as a catalyst in finding an art collector a perfect piece of art according to his taste and helps artists to find potential buyers and best prices for their artwork. These art galleries generally hire artists on a contractual basis. They promote artists and their art by organizing art exhibitions, art fairs, seminars, etc. and whatever proceeds are obtained from the sales that are proportionally divided among the artist and the gallery.
Private art galleries are curated by experts based on a certain theme and art style. So, they only entertain artists who can create art for their theme. India has over 1500 Art galleries and sales form these amounts to 64% of the total revenue generated. Some of them are:-
- Vadehra Art Gallery- New Delhi
- Nature Morte- New Delhi
- Gallery Chemould- Mumbai
- Chatterjee & Lal- Mumbai
- DAG Modern- New Delhi
- Espace Gallery- New Delhi
- Experimenter- Kolkata
- Lakeeren Art Gallery- Mumbai
An artists’ dilemma
The laws and regulations regulating Art and Culture in India are not up to the mark. They do not meet international standards and they are somewhat colonial. According to Subodh Gupta, a famous Indian artist, “Artists in India are not allowed to work at home, as it falls under the ambit of commercial work. This is a major deterrent for budding artists as there are no government-run art avenues/spaces. Internationally, a number of governments offer spaces at highly subsidized rates, which is not the case in India,” as he was quoted in the KPMG and FICCI report of 2019 on Indian art industry.
Public museums are generally sponsored and funded by the government. Those funds come from the money of the taxpayers that are built on space provided by the government for the same. These institutions cater to different types of art forms and styles. For example, there are different museums for art and sculptures.
They showcase indigenous artworks that have some aesthetic or historical value. They often trade their artworks from other museums of the world and showcase them for public viewing. They conduct and organize lectures, tours, workshops, seminars, and various educational programs from time to time. Some of these are:-
- National Gallery of Modern Art is based at three different locations in India at New Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru.
- Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museumis situated in Mumbai.
- Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya is also based out in Mumbai.
So, these are places that deal in selling and buying of Indian art and promoting the same. Keep your eyes open next time you are thinking to buy Indian art and check out all the options available!