“Gu­jaratis want a re­turn on their in­vest­ment and art pro­vides that”

India Today - - SIMPLY GUJARATI - By Runa Mukher­jee Parikh

Q. What are the chal­lenges and ad­van­tages for artists and art gal­leries in In­dia, es­pe­cially Gu­jarat? A. A lot of up­com­ing artists are fac­ing a huge chal­lenge to cre­ate art works that are ap­peal­ing to ar­chi­tects, in­te­rior de­sign­ers and Vaastu con­sul­tants. Ei­ther they suc­cumb to this pres­sure of pro­vid­ing art that fits the cri­te­rion of these con­sul­tants or give up their pro­fes­sion. The other chal­lenge is the Gu­jarati habit of ne­go­ti­at­ing. Ev­ery­one wrongly as­sumes that art gal­leries make a lot of money and hence they want to ne­go­ti­ate. For any gallery, there are sev­eral in­vest­ments that need to be made in or­der to pro­mote good qual­ity art. Col­lec­tors should re­spect this so the gal­leries in turn can pro­vide them with qual­ity work.

Q. Do you think cheaper art works by fa­mous artists make for a good buy/col­lec­tion? A. It’s like buy­ing a 6th hand Fer­rari or a used Her­mès bag. All you get is a brand/logo. The rea­son is sim­ple.

Q. How would you rate Gu­jarat’s art scene with re­gard to the rest of the coun­try?

A. Art is pretty much in its nascent stage here with only a hand­ful of Gu­jaratis hav­ing turned into se­ri­ous art col­lec­tors. In the next decade of In­dia’s growth story, Gu­jarat’s art mar­ket is surely go­ing to grow in size and the num­ber of se­ri­ous col­lec­tors is also go­ing to in­crease. Af­ter all, Gu­jaratis want a re­turn on their in­vest­ment and art pro­vides that. Frangi­pani Art gallery’s cu­ra­tor and man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Harssh Shah is pas­sion­ate about art and Frangi­pani was born out of his am­bi­tion to pro­mote global art. Shah tells us what it takes to fill the void that ex­isted in the art mar­ket and chal­lenges faced by artists. Cheaper art works by fa­mous artists are pro­duced in vol­umes just to earn money. Ev­ery fa­mous artist ex­pe­ri­ences a de­mand/sup­ply gap at least once in their life­time. There is too much de­mand for their works and only so much that they can pro­duce. Then gal­leries come up with their own agenda of max­imis­ing the re­turns they want to earn from the wave that par­tic­u­lar artist is rid­ing on. That is where the whole con­cept of cheaper art works evolves and spec­u­la­tive col­lec­tors suc­cumb to this idea, only to burn their fin­gers at a later stage.

Q. How much of a re­sponse do you see for up­com­ing artists in the state cur­rently? A. Frangi­pani Art Gallery has had four suc­cess­ful shows since its open­ing 18 months ago. We have tied up with BMW, Sal­va­tore Fer­rag­amo and Mercedes-benz in the past. Q. Who, ac­cord­ing to you are the most promis­ing names and why? A. Some of my favourites are Nityananda Ojha, Jayesh Sachdev, Hin­dol Brahmb­hatt, Dur­gaprasad Bandi, Bikash Kar­markar, and Jagannath Paul. All of them have been ed­u­cated at the best art in­sti­tutes, and have had suc­cess­ful shows. Q. Tell us about the lat­est Frangi­pani show in col­lab­o­ra­tion with G2 mag­a­zine and Mercedes and the artists. In Oc­to­ber this year, we pre­sented Il­lu­mi­nati a show of sculp­tures by Nityananda Ojha and In­di­as­capes an ex­hi­bi­tion of paint­ings by Jayesh Sachdev. Ojha is an alum­nus of MSU Bar­oda and is con­cep­tu­ally very strong while Sachdev, ed­u­cated in arts from Sin­ga­pore uses pal­ette knife to cre­ate colour-co­or­di­nated strokes. Con­tact: harshshah77@gmail.com

SHAILESH Raval/www.in­di­a­to­day­im­ages.com

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