ndian art is not the hot favourite
Indian art is not the hot favourite
HERE'S A reality check for the Indian art market whose sunny fortunes have for quite some time been the conversation starters in many a well- heeled gathering. It's just not as rocking as we would have all liked to believe, and not even a patch on the performances by global leaders.
According to the list of top 50 contemporary artists of the world in terms of volume of sales achieved in 2010, released by Artprice, one of the best known art market monitors of the world, Anish Kapoor, who was born in India but is now a British citizen, is the only India reference at position number 10.
It's our neighbour, China that is the hot favourite of the global art market with 15 of its contemporary artists appearing in the top 50 list, followed by the US with 12 artists.
The 57-year-old London-based Kapoor, who was born in Mumbai to an Indian father and a Jewish mother from Baghdad but has been living in Britain since early 1970s, scored sales worth € 6,994,360 ( approximately Rs 44.58 crore) in 2010 as against sales worth € 30,908,576 ( approximately Rs 196 crore) by the chart topper, Jean- Michel Basquiat. Basquiat was an American artist who died in 1988 at the age of 27 years.
The most stunning fact to emerge from the list, however, is China's near- absolute domination of the art market, both that of contemporary art and of global art of all time periods.
In his editorial, Thierry Ehrmann, the founder and CEO of Artprice, calls China's dominance as " electroshock in the history of the global art market…" He goes on to inform that " it took just three years for China to jump from third place ( previously occupied by France) in 2007 to first place in 2010, ahead of the UK and the US, the grand masters of the market since 1950s."
Artprice has also compiled a list of top 500 artists of the world across genres and time periods, where again, it's China that has managed to shock the statisticians with its presence all through the list.
The global all- time list is topped by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881- 1973), whose auction turnover in 2010 was $ 361,493,772(approx. Rs 1,604 crore). He is followed by Chinese artist Qi Baishi (1864- 1957) with sales figure of $ 339,231,302 ( approx. Rs 1,505 crore) on second spot and American painter Andy Warhol (1928- 1987) on the third position with sales worth $ 313,535,564 ( approx. Rs 1,392 crore).
There are four Chinese in the top 10 with Zhang Daqain (1899- 1983) on number 4 (approx. sales Rs 1,351 crore), Xu Beihong (1895- 1953) on the sixth spot (approx.sales Rs 782 crore) and Fu Baoshi ( 1904- 1965) on number 9 ( approx. sales Rs 556 crore).
Four Indians in the top 500 list are Syed Haider Raza ( born 1922) at number 106 (approx. sales Rs 57.8 crore), Francis Newton Souza (1924- 2002) at 129 ( approx. sales Rs 49.4 crore), Maqbool Fida Husain ( born 1915) at 164 (approx. sales Rs 37.3 favourite crore) and Subodh Gupta at 394 (approx. sales Rs 13.2 crore).
According to Artprice's analysis, Asia accounted for 36 per cent of art sales in 2010, Europe 33 per cent and North America, 30 per cent. In country- wise break- up, China was the leader at 33 per cent of global sales in 2010, followed by the US with a figure of 30 per cent and the UK at 19 per cent.
China's absolute supremacy of the art market can be gauged from the fact that its sales figures are equivalent to those from the erstwhile market leader, the entire continent of Europe.