“Gujaratis want a return on their investment and art provides that”
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: email@example.com