artist profile

The art industry has come of age: it is now worth over $3 trillion and has an annual turnover of $30 billion. It has its own indexes for tracking performance (Mei Moses All Art Index, Art Market Research and artnet.com), showing that returns are just as attractive if not better in art than the stock market. Art has become the new hip must-have investment. Indices tracking the performance of fine art have held up well in the recent economic slowdown with auction houses continuously reporting record prices.
Art as an investment has an increasing demand coupled with an absolutely limited supply and the ability to survive the economic downturn.
Today’s high net worth individual wealth is over $30 trillion and is increasing by 7% per annum. Currently, $300 billion is potentially available to be invested in art (ABN AMRO report).

By comparing four art indexes from London based Art Market Research (ArtQart, Modern Art, Contemporary Art, American Art) with UK and US real estate indices, hedge fund indices, bonds, and equity (The New York Stock Exchange, FTSE 100, S&P 500), over a two year period, February 2005 to January 2008, annual returns for art continue to exceed the return for stocks, bonds, equities and real estate, making it a good contender for those interested in diversifying their investment portfolio.
When it comes to asset planning, one of the key concerns for investors is how well an asset can hedge against inflation. Due to the high volatility of art’s value, it is necessary to invest over a longer period to adequately hedge (Schweizer, 2008). India, one of the booming markets for contemporary art; works by leading painters have shown price appreciation in value of twenty fold since 2000.

A half dozen art investment funds are betting on next-generation Indian artists in their 30s and 40s, allowing fund managers to do the work for investors who want to get in on returns that have driven the Indian art market up 485 percent in the last decade and turned it into the fourth-most-buoyant art market in the world.
According to ArtTactic, a company that monitors the progress of emerging markets, average prices for contemporary Indian art at auction rose by 140 per cent between March 2006 and September 2008. But between September 2008 and September 2009, they fell by 75 per cent.
Saatchi bought a painting of kitchen pots by India's most highly rated young artist, Subodh Gupta, for a triple estimate and record $646,000. In the months that followed, several Gupta paintings and sculptures broke the $1 million mark at auction.
Gupta's bronze sculpture UFO was bought in 2007 from the Bodhi Gallery for about $160,000, but would be priced at double that amount since the artist signed up with international heavyweight dealers Hauser & Wirth. Then there is T V Santhosh, whose paintings Saatchi again purchased direct from the artist's gallery in 2007. Costing about £32,000 each, similar works became the subject of intense speculation, rising to 10 times that amount at auction during the next 18 months. But, like so much contemporary Indian art, prices then crashed down to earth.However, Saatchi would still probably double his money if he sold those paintings at auction now, says Conor Macklin, a director of the Grosvenor Vadehra Gallery, which works with Santhosh.

With a simple buy and hold investment strategy, Indian Art has given a 2000% return over the last 5 years. This figure has been calculated by taking an average appreciation in value of paintings by 50 artists over the last five years. The best Equity Mutual Funds have given a return of 1100% over the same period as compared with the Sensex which has appreciated by only 200% and property which is considered a safe investment has given a return of 250% over the same term. Thus, compared to the other asset classes Art has out performed them considerably giving the highest returns.
SOCIALISM You have 2 cows. You give one to your neighbour.
- COMMUNISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both and gives you some milk.
- FASCISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both and sells you some milk.
- NAZISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both and shoots you.
- BUREAUCRATISM You have 2 cows. The State takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and then throws the milk away…


- TRADITIONAL CAPITALISM You have two cows. You sell one and buy a bull. Your herd multiplies, and the economy grows. You sell them and retire on the income
- SURREALISM You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons
- AN AMERICAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You sell one, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. Later, you hire a consultant to analyze why the cow has dropped dead.
- ENRON VENTURE CAPITALISM You have two cows. You sell three of them to your publicly listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute a debt/equity swap with an associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax exemption for five cows. The milk rights of the six cows are transferred via an intermediary to a Cayman Island Company secretly owned by the majority shareholder who sells the rights to all seven cows back to your listed company. The annual report says the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more. You sell one cow to buy a new president of the United States, leaving you with nine cows. No balance sheet provided with the release. The public then buys your bull.
- FRENCH CORPORATION You have two cows. You go on strike, organize a riot, and block the roads, because you want three cows.
- JAPANESE CORPORATION You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You then create a clever cow cartoon image called ‘Cowkimon’ and market it worldwide.
- A GERMAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You re-engineer them so they live for 100 years, eat once a month, and milk themselves.
- AN ITALIAN CORPORATION You have two cows, but you don’t know where they are. You decide to have lunch.
- A RUSSIAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You count them and learn you have five cows. You count them again and learn you have 42 cows. You count them again and learn you have 2 cows. You stop counting cows and open another bottle of vodka.
- A SWISS CORPORATION You have 5000 cows. None of them belong to you. You charge the owners for storing them.
- CHINESE CORPORATION You have two cows. You have 300 people milking them. You claim that you have full employment, and high bovine productivity. You arrest the newsman who reported the real situation.
- AN INDIAN CORPORATION You have two cows. You worship them.
- A BRITISH CORPORATION You have two cows. Both are mad.
- AN IRAQI CORPORATION Everyone thinks you have lots of cows. You tell them that you have none.
No one believes you, so they bomb the **** out of you and invade your country. You still have no cows, but at least now you are part of a Democracy…
- AN AUSTRALIAN CORPORATION You have two cows. Business seems pretty good. You close the office and go for a few beers to celebrate.
- A NEW ZEALAND CORPORATION You have two cows. The one on the left looks very attractive.


 

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