“I think if it becomes accessible, like everything else in our lives, then the interest is there,” says Bandra-based art consultant Natasha Jeyasingh. Natasha and her friend, Nathan Wadhwani, have created a club for art lovers and collectors, one of the first of its kind in Mumbai with Carpe Arte, which operates primarily as a Facebook group. They regularly organize group tours, studio visits and other art-related events.
However, when it comes to acquiring art, the first stop for most buyers is good old Google. Online portals like mojarto.com are a huge hit with young art collectors and indeed seem to be doing very well, especially with lower priced pieces in the range of INR 50,000-60,000 or even less .
It would seem, however, that these portals are mainly aimed at people who see the work of art more for its decorative value than anything else. “It’s getting quite trendy to have something on the wall,” Geeta muses. “You think if my upholstery is blue, maybe I want a room that’s a mix of blue and yellow, and maybe that’s not the kind of thing you’d get in a gallery. On a website, there are plenty of choices.
Hugo Weihe, CEO of Saffronart, corroborates. “There is a universal side that appeals a lot to young collectors,” says Hugo. However, he is quick to point out that the purpose of art is more than just decorative – it is meant to be experienced. “Art must be lived.” Hugo uses the term “coexistence” in an interesting way, thus emphasizing the animated nature of art, the idea that it is much more than a piece of decoration. “I encourage every young person to see as much as possible. Art houses and galleries are open…and very happy to share and provide information,” says Hugo.