Five Indian Contemporary Artists You Should Add To Your Collection ASAPby | November 08, 2019
The past couple of decades have proved to be crucial for the momentum of contemporary art in India. Surprisingly enough, fine arts have managed to retain their place despite being constantly challenged by the ever-expanding channels of mainstream media.
In fact, when it comes to fine arts, a rather unique phenomenon was witnessed here. It was in 2007 that Raqib Shaw’s ‘Garden of Earthly Delights III’ (2003) created history at Sotheby’s London Contemporary Art Sale by becoming the most expensive painting to be ever sold by an Indian artist. But how did contemporary art finally manage to find its space in a country that could only revere posterity?
While there can be a number of answers here, one thing that deserves due credit is the artistic finesse and variety that contemporary Indian artists have to offer today. The increasing focus on mix media has given them a space to create art that is somehow more interactive. Add to it the fact that fine arts entail prowess in dealing with a certain complexity that art connoisseurs recognise quite well in the current times when almost everything else seems to be replicable.
Thinking of adding one of these artists to your art collection? Here's a Luxeva approved list of some contemporary Indian artists who are a sure shot investment.
With its constant conjugation of chaos and order, Bharti Kher’s art world is replete with riddled nuances that ask for hours and hours of meditation. Known for encoding a language of her own in her artworks and conceptualising it as an interaction between the aesthetic and theoretical, Bharti creates a gossamer world where finding the distinction between reality and fiction is a constant struggle. Take a look at her oeuvre and you'll find all of this masterfully encoded in a world of artistic finesse. And just when you begin to feel lost, all of it suddenly finds its locus in something as plain as a 'bindi'.
Using everyday elements like bindis and sarees and transforming them into profound artworks is Bharti’s way of taking a quip on kitsch and the ever-expanding consumer culture in the contemporary world. The beauty of her artwork lies in how some of the most basic and ordinary cultural symbols in India are represented in the most extraordinary way.
Imagine what it would be like to walk on a floor of rubies and gaze at a spotless moon; that’s exactly the kind of sentiment that a Raqib Shaw painting invokes. An amalgamation of imagery from the East and the West, his paintings are intimate visions of a paradise that has been long lost and yet lives in parts of the human psyche as a distant memory.
Based on intense research, these paintings find their true value in the artist’s personal vision that is further accentuated by metallic paints and enamel, painstakingly embossed on the canvas.
For someone who claims to have felt like a refugee all his life, Raqib’s fantastical visions seem like shadows of a home that was never found. To add to it, the aesthetic appeal of his artwork remains unsurpassed and that explains why he has to his credit the most expensive painting ever sold by an Indian artist.
A sneak peek into Indian idiosyncrasies, Jitish Kallat’s artwork actively explores the city culture, its hybridity, and how it continues to reproduce itself. The artist finds a certain preoccupation in the city of Mumbai as he goes about exploring its history, polity, and geography in his work.
With the scale of his work which is constantly fluctuating and evolving, Jitish certainly thinks of it as a definite act of meaning. Drawing inspiration from the detritus of the mundane life as the artists goes about exploring the inner linings of Mumbai’s structures, he constantly attempts to understand the city’s demography. As speculative as it gets, Jitish’s artwork with its themes of time, death, birth, and mortality is for those interested in existential narratives and the cosmic chimera.
Radhika Agarwala's artistic mission is to study the role of mankind as a major geological force and her artwork finds its inspiration in the nature of all the cities that she has ever experienced. As she brings together contrasting elements against mosaic backgrounds while there is an allegorical message to be assimilated.
Her artwork is a constant effort to portray the contemporary world as a wasteland that can perhaps find redemption only in nature. Her bronze menageries echo the same idea and comprise of some striking pieces that are sure to make a statement.
All for silences, what artist Tarini Ahuja does on canvas can easily be called visual sorcery, for the effect is as pristine as it gets. The artist has a knack for playing with textures; she subtly bases them on concepts of mathematics and photography and softens them with her use of colour.
Drenched in soothing pastels accentuated strategically by pristine whites, her art pieces come across as rather uncluttered and aim to soothe. Essentially reflective, Tarini’s artworks are for those with a taste for whimsical and reflective arts.