My Indian Art Adventure –

My Indian Art Adventure –

Today’s post is going to be a (very welcome) diversion from the time consuming and mind bending series I am doing on the reasons for the art market crash in the early 90’s. I will continue the series with my next post so don’t think that I have finished with that topic. I am also going to refrain from commenting on the monumental sale of the Francis Bacon painting as there are so many different people making so many different (read: hasty) assumptions about what the sale of this works means to the art market that I will be doing a bit more analysis before I give my two cents worth. Now for today’s post…

As I am sure you are all aware, the market for Indian art has exploded in recent times with the prices being paid for works by both contemporary and traditional artists increasing at a rate that is nothing short of astonishing. The future for Indian art looks extremely bright especially considering that the Indian art market is still in it’s infancy and has enormous room for growth. As an art investor and I am always looking for opportunities to invest in emerging markets such as Indian art. I have been looking for an Indian artwork to invest in for quite a while but have struggled to find anything that wasn’t either ridiculously expensive, not investment quality or too difficult to purchase from Australia.

After spending many hours scouring magazines and websites in a search for a gallery that would have what I was after I came across Saffron Art ( which has become the top source of Indian art. I spent many more hours sifting through the 900 or so artists whose work is sold on the site in an effort to find an artist who had the right mix of career achievement and future potential. Eventually I came across a limited edition print that caught eye which was by an artist by the name of Manjunath Kamath. On further examination I discovered that Kamath has recently had a series of sell-out shows and, according to, has had two works sell at auction for well above the estimate. The first work sold at auction was “Character in my Grandfather’s Story” which had an estimate of US$9500-US$14,000 but sold for $54,012 and the second work was “Teeth Politics” which had an estimate of US$11,700-$13,300 but sold for $52,700. At this point I knew that I had stumbled upon a real gem and purchased the limited edition print, which I am sure will increase in value significantly in the near future if the current exposure Kamath is receiving is anything to go by.

Born in 1972 in Mangalore, Manjunath obtained his BFA in Sculpture from Chamarajendra Academy of Visual Arts, Mysore in 1989-94 and was the 2002 artist in Residence at the School of Art and Design of Wales Institute in Cardiff, UK. Kamath has had several solo shows both in India and internationally and his works are in prominent collections in India and abroad.

image: “Teeth Politics” by Manjunath Kamath

For more information on Manjunath Kamath see:

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

8 Responses

  1. Enjoyed reading your views on Indian art. The growth has been spectacular in the past and is likely to continue. Contemporary artists have a more global appeal and one can still pick up reasonably priced works which will appreciate in the future.
    I’m familiar with Kamath’s works but didn’t know he was considered to be so promising! Good to know!

  2. HI Nalini,
    Thanks for the comment. I had a look at your blog which is fantastic and very informative. Keep up the good work!!

    Nicholas Forrest

  3. Thanks!
    Stangely enough, I met Kamath today at a sculpture workshop in Bangalore! Talk of coincidence!


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  5. […] artists increasing at a rate that is nothing short of astonishing. The future for indian art l of IndiaKamat&39s Potpourri- Gatekeeper of indian art More often than not, the Hindu temples […]

  6. I was very happy to find this blog while searching for information on the Indian art market. We have published a page on the China art market and will now do the same for the Indian art market at James Dunn Fine Art ( Having traveled to India in 1999 and explored some of the Southern region of the country and associated cultures, I found the artists and their work there fascinating.

  7. The Rang Rasiya Freedom of Expression Art Competition extended until January 21, 2009
    After receiving an overwhelming response , the Rang Rasiya Freedom of Expression Art Competition, a nation wide contest, a venture by Infiniti Film Entertainment has extended the closing date of entries till January 21, 2008. This Art Movement is an endeavor to bring about a socio cultural movement in India and provide a platform for new talent who are passionate about Art.
    The competition is open to all above the age of 18. Entries open till January 21,2008.For participation, log on to .
    For further details contact – Infinity Film Entertainment @ 022- 40742100 or Logon to

  8. This site is fully dedicated for Chakyar Koothu – a lengendary art form in South India. I have a blog there for Chakyar Koothu….

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