How To Collect Art In The Time Of Corona

The ongoing pandemic has led to a multitude of changes in our lifestyle, not least curtailing worthwhile pastimes, particularly our freedom to spend the good part of an afternoon hopping between art galleries and museums. Fortunately for us, the cultural world has adapted to the times. Guest writer Hena Kapadia – Gallery Director of TARQ – explores how we can feed our passion for art online, from simply browsing exhibits to buying artworks.


For anyone looking to purchase a work of art for their home, it may seem like it has never been a more challenging experience; but I’m here to tell you that the coronavirus brings with it the opportunity to see, and indeed buy art from more places than was possible before.

Traditional physical spaces that show artwork, galleries, auction houses and artist studios, are all out of bounds (in Mumbai at least) and will remain inaccessible for some time because of the pandemic. However, what the pandemic has done, is forced the once inaccessible and aloof art world online, where more people than ever before can see once unattainable works, all from the comfort of home.

But before you start revenge shopping online for masterpieces (more details on where to do that below) be sure to check out the vast amounts of online content that a range of cultural institutions are currently hosting. A few of my favourites over the lockdown have been The CSMVS, Sarmaya, MAP and of course TARQ. Follow them on Instagram to see the wonderful walkthroughs, Instagram lives, panel discussions and quizzes that they are planning and have hosted already.

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With nature playing an important role and an emphasized use of organic shapes and colours, @rithikamerchant works explore myths across geography. She creates mosaics of myths that question received histories that are available to us throughout culture. Her paintings are made using a combination of watercolour, gouache, ink and collage elements, drawing on 17th-century botanical drawings and folk art, to create a body of work that is visually linked to our collective pasts. While in lockdown, Rithika began experimenting with paper-cutting techniques which can be seen in her latest series of works that are currently a part of our online group exhibition 'Inherited Memory'. — Talking about her latest explorations, Rithika said,"It’s a meditative practice perfect for these troubled times. Since I’ve always included elements of craft in my fine art practice it’s been a comfortable extension of my work. I also love working on and with paper and seeing how many different ways I can use this medium. The paper has a narrative of its own and now with the paper cuts I’m adding to this and creating a new story. " __ Rithika’s works are currently a part of our online group exhibition ‘Inherited Memory'. The exhibition will be on view until 26th June, 2020. Click on the link in our bio to visit! . . #InheritedMemory #Art #ContemporaryArt #ContemporaryArtist #PaperCut #ArtOnline #OnlineExhibition #ContemporaryArtGallery #ArtistsAtTARQ

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Another fun series involves FAQ Art virtually visiting several gallerists in their homes to take a peek at their personal collections.

Now, on to that revenge buying.

To begin with, there are several galleries who have online shows, as well as a few platforms that are bringing multiple galleries together in one place. In Mumbai, check out the Mumbai Gallery Weekend page, to see what all the cities galleries are working on, as well as which ones are opening up by appointment now.

For something a little more international, be sure to stay tuned to the usual Art Fairs, including Art Basel and Frieze who have hosted online viewing rooms for all the galleries that would have been a part of their real-life fairs. In October, Frieze London is scheduled to continue as planned for now, but I’m certain there will be an online component, which will most definitely be worth checking out.


About Hena Kapadia

Hena Kapadia is founder and gallery director of the TARQ, a contemporary art gallery in Mumbai. Her vision has grown into a robust gallery program that has seen nearly fifty exhibitions and a presence in art fairs and exhibitions in India and abroad. Apart from TARQ’s regular shows, the gallery is also committed to building an educational structure that enables the art community to grow through discussion, debate and dialogue across the spectrum. | Follow her @OopsIFellAgain @TarqMumbai


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