Make art buying mandatory for corporates, government offices
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DR ALKA RAGHUVANSHI
We are poised at the brink of huge changes as to how art is perceived and dealt with during and post-Covid-19. I feel with huge concerns of social distancing, art openings and other physical gathering of artists will undergo a veritable metamorphosis. A lot of art will be seen online as part of solos, group shows and increasing permutations and combinations with greater possibilities of experimentations and innovative art practices. This huge expansion of art viewing will take art out of the white cube and increase its outreach. The self-conscious diffidence of entering an art space with will and hopefully greater democratisation of the arts will happen.
The younger and mid-level artists, sculptors and art photographers who are self-employed are going through a very rough time financially. They are in dire need of support given the havoc wreaked by the Covid-19. As it is the sector has been reeling under an economic downturn pre-Covid-19 and the current situation has sounded its death knell. It is time that it needs to be looked at with great empathy and respect for the sacrifices artists make just to remain artists and continue to create are truly immense.
As most artists are not part of any guild or collective body, there is none who will take up cudgels on their behalf. Art related jobs are difficult to come by, all the shows have been cancelled and art buying is not happening at the private or state level. Even after saying this I firmly believe that no buyer can really pay for the art he acquires for what an artist gives by way of his life’s experience and journey via his art is really invaluable as no price is enough.
To alleviate their suffering, I feel that the government should refund TDS on their savings for 2020 and 2021. In addition, delayed filing of taxes for 2019-2020 should be allowed. All art material like colours, canvases, framing, raw material for creation of sculpture should be exempt from taxes for at least four years.
Art buying should be made mandatory for corporate and central and state government offices. As there are no guidelines for selection of artists worthy of support, I feel the selection criterion could be:
1. Participation in at least 20 group exhibitions
2. At least one solo show
3. At least 10 clippings in print media
Dr Alka Raghuvanshi is an art writer, curator and artist
and can be contacted on [email protected]