People are still reeling from recession and its effects on contemporary art market: Ishrat Kanga
Kanga feels that people have become cautious about how they spend.
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It’s a perennial debate in the art world, with explanations ranging from not enough interest to not enough exposure offered. But perhaps, it’s strictly financial.
During a conversation with ETPanache, about the subject, Ishrat Kanga, deputy director, specialist, head of sale London at Sotheby’s said, “The space for up and coming contemporary art are the galleries. And there are so many galleries. I don’t feel whether people buy (contemporary) art or not is only linked to public institutions.”
Kanga added further, “I think that rather than whether it’s being given exposure in institutions or not, I think people’s memories are quite long and they are still badly burnt from how badly the recession affected the contemporary art market. So they are just being more cautious about how much they spend. And again, the contemporary art that we sell which is at the more affordable level, they are selling really well. It’s only where you are asking people to shell out crores, that’s where they think what if I buy something for Rs 3 crore and tomorrow it is for Rs 30 lakh. And that actually happened.”
A lot of international buying interest in Indian contemporary art scene was responsible for much money being pumped into Indian art, resulting in prices rising, Kanga said. If the recession hadn’t happened, would we have seen a steady rise in art prices? That is anybody’s guess.