A look at the art market – reports suggest that confidence is slowly returning

(By Nalini S Malaviya)

Even as speculations regarding the art market continue to make the rounds, a recent report on the Indian art market suggests that there is an overall increase in the confidence indicator compared to last year. It is noticed that the positive sentiment is on the rise. It has also been observed that the gap in confidence between the modern Indian and the contemporary Indian art market is widening, with the former measuring 51% higher than that for the contemporary Indian art market. Again, this may not be surprising as the modern artists have an established and a proven track record compared to the contemporaries.

Most readers will agree to this trend and may have arrived at a similar analysis themselves, based on the existing situation, and by also taking into account the fact that the economic situation is on the revival. Most collectors and investors who have invested in the art market will also be relieved to see the first positive signs, which are based on actual facts and figures.

The overall drop in confidence last year that was projected by various market reports based on statistical data and analysis resulted in a further slowdown of the art market where sales were negligible. In fact, in this phase not only were the sales affected, but also the number of art activities such as exhibitions and other events had gone down considerably. Now that the sentiment seems to be turning towards a positive note, it is also possible that some of the speculators may decide to make a comeback in the art market, once again. Although, this is likely in any market which is poised to grow over the years and one may have to wait and see how it eventually affects the overall art market in the long term.

Although, these are early signs of recovery and will help in creating a buoyant mood, it would be wise to adopt a slightly cautious approach in the interim, before investing huge amounts in the art market.

(Published in Financial Times)