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Master Strokes

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The auction, of course, isnÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¾ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢t only about SinghÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¾ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢s mural; there are more than 100 paintings by 43 Indian artists on offer. They include paintings by masters such as M.F. Husain, S.H. Raza, F.N. Souza, Ram Kumar and Akbar Padamsee, as well as the works of contemporary artists such as Surendran Nair, Subodh Gupta, Shibu Natesan and N.S. Harsha. Spending some anxious moments before his treasure trove goes under the hammer is Dinesh Vazirani, co-founder of Saffronart, no doubt somewhat comforted by the fact that the art market has recovered after a big fall during the economic downturn. ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Â¦ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…“The art market in India, particularly modern art, is growing steadily as people are now more aware and want to explore,ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'¢â‚¬Å¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚ says Vazirani, who is looking at a return of close to Rs 35 crore from this auction.

Experts estimate the Indian art auction market at $120 million (Rs 540 crore) this year. Apart from Saffronart, Mumbai-based The Arts Trust gallery and Chennai-based Apparao Gallery are in the business. Osian, one of IndiaÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'†â€™ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¡ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¬ÃÆ'ƒÆ’ÃÆ'‚¢ÃÆ'ƒÂ¢ÃÆ'¢â€šÂ¬ÃÆ'…¾ÃÆ'ƒâ€šÃÆ'‚¢s prominent art galleries, also plans to enter the online art market soon. Get ready for class struggle of a different kind.

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(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 13-12-2010)