Art and India have been walking hand-in-hand since the inception of time and the epoch when the first of the Indus Valley civilisation’s habitants headed here. Traditional Indian art depicts the intensity and the degree of imagination people or rather artists of that time period had in them.
When I first encountered the traditional art I never thought that the level of sophistication would be so high. I always believed that art was a European invention and Indians were not that much engrossed in paintings and artefacts until I myself saw the richness of Indian art.
Any country is being identified by its cultural affluence and copiousness. India, a south-eastern Asian nation, world’s largest democracy, and an epitome of diversity is home to some of the best artworks that human race was able to craft. So, if Indian art was prosperous, how come we know so little about it?
It is so because, India was under the colonial rule of British for almost 200 years and before that, under Mughals for a good 300+ years. Although Mughals were art lovers and introduced Persian styles in India, art in this nation was somehow standing on someone else’s efforts for a much longer time.
India got its independence in the year 1947, and surprisingly, last 71 years have seen more growth of Indian art than the last 500 years. There are very specific reasons for that. I am going to jot down some of the compelling ones that are pushing more artists now to put Indian art for sale:
The Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group
When India got its independence, every other sector in India was on its slowest phase, except art. Art was the only division in India that gained an unbelievable momentum and as a result, a group of 6 artists came together and formed the very famous Bombay Progressive Artists’ Group in the year 1948.
These Godfathers of modern Indian art were F. N. Souza, S. H. Raza, M. F. Husain, K. H. Ara, H. A. Gade, and S. K. Bakre. Although the group was dissolved in the year 1956, it laid an extremely solid base for the modern and contemporary art to evolve in India. These were the first artists who dared to think beyond the conventional standards and hated following western styles. The aim of this group was to make artists think freely. This is why all the founders of this group emerged as the prominent face of Indian art later on.
India’s dominance in art conventions
These are the good times for Indian artists. Previously, one or two Indian artists used to gain global accolades or million dollars for their work. Today, things have changed. In the year 2013, Christie opened up a permanent base in India, attesting the mettle of Indian artists at the global level.
In addition to this, artists like V.S. Gaitonde, M.F.Husain, S.H. Raza, Tyeb Mehta, Amrita Shergil, etc have been successful in selling more than one paintings for millions of dollars. The million dollar club now encapsulates some of the exquisite paintings and some eminent artist’s name.
Apart from this, a lot of art collectors are able to affect the global art market. Names like Michelle Poonawalla, Feroze Gujral, Sunita Choraria, Minal Vazirani, Aarti Lohia, Radhika Chopra, etc are some of the known Indian collectors who have earned a special place in the western auctions and conventions.
Advancements in technology
The quest to put Indian art for sale would never have become so successful if technology wouldn’t have played such a vital role in making the world a much smaller place. People can access anything and everything with the touch of their fingers.
An art lover can today sit in his/her room and explore a gamut of different types of Indian paintings on a mobile phone. Technology has paved the way for the internet to take over. The explosion of the internet has cleared the path for numerous online art galleries to come up.
People now actively contact these reputed online platforms to get a painting of their taste and requirements. As for artists, the internet has solved their old problem of “How to reach the audience”. Today, an artist, even a beginner can think to reach a correct set of audience for his work. He doesn’t have to wait for a brick & mortar art gallery to showcase his talent.
Another love child of technological advancement is social media. A platform where people meet and interact. Almost every business sector has hopped on to social media wagon owing to the presence of a colossal number of people on these platforms. Daises like Instagram and Pinterest have provided the artists with adequate space and alternatives to illustrate their hard work. It is as simple as typing the relevant hashtags and the art lovers are exposed to astonishing works of art on sale.
According to me, these are some of the intriguing factors that artists are now shying away to put Indian art for sale. The ever-growing prominence of Indian artists, the solid foundation that the previous generation of artists have laid, and the ultra-modern tech has enabled the artists to reach people easily. Thanks!