Why ARTIANA Fine Art Finance Service is Perfect for Collectors of Indian Art

Published on September 18, 2018 (widewalls.ch), by Angie Kordic

The online auction house ARTIANA, a well-known platform based in Dubai, will now expand its activities and offer a one-of-a-kind service on the market right now – their Fine Art Finance service.

Announced just ahead of their November 2018 sale of South Asian art, it is an art finance advisory division that will specialize in financing solution to both buyers in their auctions and those who can borrow against blue-chip Indian artworks. By financing their purchases at Artiana auctions, clients can take advantage of opportunity buys and schedule a delayed or installment payment on their acquisitions based on their cash flows. By leveraging existing artworks, our clients optimize the use and enjoyment of their collection, while unlocking equity and allowing further portfolio diversification.

We talk to ARTIANA’s founder Lavesh Jagasia about the importance of such service being available within the field of Indian art and its market, as well as what it could mean for all sides of the sales.

The ARTIANA Fine Art Finance

Widewalls: What brought the creation of the ARTIANA Fine Art Finance on? How did it come to be?

Lavesh Jagasia: ARTIANA Fine Art Finance will assist us in increasing our clients and broadening the collector base of Indian art. Being a part of the Indian art sphere for the last 3 decades, I have experienced the effects that lack of liquidity has on this market just as it does on any other asset class. There are many times that works are sold in auctions for attractive prices, and end buyers are unable to take advantage of these situations as they would have not planned such purchases. With other collectors already holding significant portions of their net-worth in Indian art and unable to sell it quickly or leverage it when required, it limits their investments in this sphere due to the illiquid nature of this asset class.

By introducing our FlexiPay ‘Bid Now Pay Later’ facility in our auctions and offering bespoke finance solutions for blue-chip Indian art, we will address these issues resulting in deeper penetration of the market.

Widewalls: How does the service you’d be providing differ between the buyers and those who borrow against blue-chip Indian artworks?

LJ: The buyers on the ARTIANA auction platform have multiple benefits as compared to those offering external art assets as collateral. All items offered in our auctions are eligible for deferred or installment payments under our FlexiPay ‘Bid Now Pay Later’ scheme as long as the clients have been pre-approved for this facility. ARTIANA buyers have access to a higher Loan-To-Value (LTV) ratio of up to 80% of our lower estimate value as compared with up to 60% of our appraised value of all external art assets. The arrangement fee of 2% of the advance amount is also waived from them.

Charges for evaluation, storage and the conservator’s inspection report are currently complimentary for all clients, but maybe applicable to external clients in the future.

Widewalls: What is the process like for those who wish to approach ARTIANA in order to use this service? What can they expect and what is expected of them?

LJ: For prospective bidders in our auctions, the process is quite simple. All they need to do is select between the deferred or installment payments offered in our ‘Bid Now Pay Later’ plans, agree to the Terms and Conditions thereof and get a pre-approval prior to the commencement of the auction, confirming their eligibility for this facility. If their bids are successful, then they can then choose to either pay as usual or opt for their pre-approved FlexiPay facility.

The clients who want to propose external art assets as collateral, will have to first send us the image and details of the artworks. After our preliminary requirements of the artwork, such as artist and ownership are met, then an appraisal and condition check will be carried out, subsequent to which, the evaluation, LTV and terms are discussed with them ahead of the next steps.

In both cases, the artworks are stored in our art storage facility till all amounts due against them are cleared.

Making an Impact on the Indian Art Market

Widewalls: Why Indian art? Is it exclusively Indian art?

LJ: Yes, currently we are offering this facility only on blue-chip Indian artworks. This is a market that we have in-depth knowledge of, and is our core area of focus even in our auctions. Our expertise in this domain enables us to effectively manage the risks, and have quick turnaround times in structuring bespoke solutions for our clients.

Widewalls: The ARTIANA Fine Art Finance is the first service/product of its kind out there. What are the advantages you offer, as a company already in the bespoke business, compared to other sources of financing?

LJ: That is correct, currently there is no service/product available that offers specialized financing solutions for Indian art. Our advances offer flexibility and a variable term. Unlocking equity and receiving liquidity without cumbersome documentation and credit approval process. There is no personal liability, the collateralized artworks are the sole guarantee towards the advance (non-recourse).

Widewalls: How do you see this service having an impact on the art market and the way business is being done in sales?

LJ: The availability of flexible payments in our auctions will allow buyers to make purchases and plan their payments, no longer having to wait till the entire amount is available before placing a bid or making an opportunity purchase when a work is going for an attractive price at auction.

With the clients who will use this service for external art assets, they could use this facility to unlock equity and diversify their collection, for short-term funding and bridge finance to acquire works while awaiting sale transactions on their existing ones.

The availability of liquidity against only certain blue-chip artworks will also segregate the market identifying investment-grade art from the rest.

All of this will positively impact the Indian art market and increase overall sales of the artworks that qualify for this service.

Dubai-based auction platform will now provide loan against blue-chip Indian art work

Published on September 16, 2018 (moneycontrol.com), by Tasmayee Laha Roy

Artiana will consider individual artworks and collections of blue chip Indian fine art as collateral. Artworks must be freely marketable and produced by prominent artists with an existing track record in the secondary market.

All the exquisite Indian art work that adorns your walls can now get you a loan.

Dubai-based online art auction platform, Artiana has started a one-of-its-kind service -Artiana Fine Art Finance. Leveraging upon the strength of the auction house platform, Artiana is all set to provide financing solutions that cater to both buyers in auctions as well as others who can borrow against blue-chip Indian artworks.

While there are platforms like Levart, Sotheby’s Financial Services and others that provide loan against artwork what is special about Artiana is their services are dedicated towards blue-chip Indian artwork.

Clients having artwork that qualifies as collateral for this facility and can arrange the physical delivery of these pieces to Artiana’s storage facility in Dubai, can use this service. Interestingly, the equity released against the artwork can be used for any purpose and there are no restrictions on the deployment of these funds.

What exactly does Artiana Fine Art Service do? They provide finance solutions to consignors and buyers at our auctions and arrange advances secured against Indian fine art at competitive interest rates. “Our bespoke finance solutions provide financing for fresh acquisitions or existing collections,” said Lavesh Jagasia, Founder of Artiana.

Art work has been an investment option for a lot of people for years now but unlike other commodities like gold or real estate art is not easy to sell. At least not as quickly as other investment options. This is the gap Artiana wants to bridge.

“There are times that works are sold in auctions for attractive prices, and end buyers are unable to take advantage of these situations as they would have not planned such purchases. With other collectors already holding significant portions of their net-worth in Indian art, and unable to sell it quickly or leverage it when required limiting their investments in this sphere due to the illiquid nature of this asset class,” Jagasia said.

With bespoke finance solutions for blue-chip Indian art, Artiana wants to address these in the art market.

As for the amount of finance provided, while there is no upper limit the minimum advance size is $50,000 which could be against one work or a collection of works.

But what Loan-To-Value (LTV) does Artiana Fine Art Finance offer against the artworks? “We will typically advance up to 80 percent of the lower estimate value of artworks purchased at our auctions or up to 60 percent of the appraised value of the proposed external art collateral,” Jagasia said.

Explaining why the company came up with financial solutions against blue-chip Indian artwork only, Jagasia said, “We currently focus on Indian art in our auctions, hence to be able to accurately estimate and guide our clients and financiers we prefer to stay within this domain. Secondly, there is no other such product/service available for Indian art making the facility a welcome addition to the Indian art sphere having a pent-up demand.”

As for the kind of artwork that can be used for availing the service, Artiana will consider individual artworks and collections of blue-chip Indian fine art as collateral. Artworks must be freely marketable and produced by prominent artists with an existing track record in the secondary market.

The artworks are evaluated by both Artiana and also independently inspected by a conservator.

For securing the transactions throughout the term that the artworks are held as collateral they will be insured at double of the advance amount, to cover the full value of the art asset. The insurance covers the items right from the time of collection, during storage until the final handover.

As for Artiana’s interest in the lending process, Artiana Fine Art Finance will charge an arrangement fee of 2 percent of the advance amounts arranged against external art assets, this fee is waived for finance arranged against purchases made in their auctions. Depending on the value, tenor and terms of the advance the charges are calculated at typically 15 percent per annum payable quarterly in advance for fixed maturity payments, and at a flat rate of 10 percent per annum for monthly installment payments.


An art auction sans buyer’s premium


Woman and Pigeon by Jamil Naqsh, oil on canvas, 2006

Published: October 7, 2016 (Gulf News)

By Jyoti Kalsi (Special to Weekend Review)

Art collectors interested in modern and contemporary South Asian works by masters can bid online from October 13

Dubai-based online auction house Artiana will hold its second online auction of modern and contemporary South Asian art from October 13 to October 17. The auction offers 60 lots of paintings and sculptures by well-known modern and contemporary artists from the Indian subcontinent. Highlights of the sale include a rare diptych from Akbar Padamsee’s “Mirror Image” series; S.H. Raza’s acclaimed work “Duvidha”; and important works by Indian, Pakistani and Sri Lankan masters such as M.F. Husain, F.N. Souza, Jogen Chowdhury, B. Prabha, Laxma Goud, Sakti Burman, Jamil Naqsh and Senaka Senanayake. A unique feature of Artiana is that it does not charge a buyer’s premium.
The auction catalogue is available at www.artiana.com, and the artworks can also be viewed by appointment at Artiana’s viewing gallery in Downtown Dubai until October 12.
Artiana was founded in March this year by Lavesh Jagasia, a Dubai-based art connoisseur who runs the art consultancy The Fine Art Advisory and The Serigraph Studio, which collaborates with leading South Asian artists to create high-quality serigraphs of their works.

“Artiana is the first homegrown auction platform of its kind in the region launched to create a seamless and fair interface between buyers and sellers across the globe. We want to introduce transparency and accurate price determination of rare and collectible artworks by established artists to help collectors acquire genuine works at fair prices. While most auction houses charge a buyer’s premium of 25 to 30 per cent on the final bid, our ‘No Buyer’s Premium’ policy means that buyers can bid with the assurance that there will be no additional charges over the winning bid amount. Artiana’s in-house delivery and logistics infrastructure further reduces the cost of the transaction, ensuring that both sellers and buyers get the best possible price,” Jagasia says.
The auction will begin at 6pm on October 13 and close between 7 and 9pm on October 17. Buyers can register at www.artiana.com, and they can place their bids in advance or at any time during the auction through Artiana’s state-of-the-art proprietary auction application software. They can also participate via the Artiana mobile app, which is available at the App Store and Google Play.

Jyoti Kalsi is an arts-enthusiast based in Dubai.
For more information and registration, visit www.artiana.com
For viewing appointments, write to [email protected]

Source: An art auction sans buyer’s premium

Syed Haider Raza (1922-2016)

S.H. Raza in his studio
Raza during his early years in his Paris studio

A dot marks an end in script. However, when speaking of Syed Haider Raza, a special legend it led to new beginnings, both in his early years and later in his art journey. Raza was a restless young man with an unbridled mind. While at school, his teacher drew a dot on a wall, trying to make him focus on it with the intention of calming his wandering mind. Raza recollects this incident as formative in his approach to art and even life.

A visual depiction of the sacred through the modern idiom invokes only one name in Indian art – Raza. His early years by the Narmada valley shaped his perspectives on culture, tradition, religion and their broader interpretations through art. His deep meditations on these subjects, all through his artistic journey, resulted in the emergence of a unique motif in Indian contemporary art – the ‘bindu’.

Raza’s art was nothing short of an obsession. This obsession wasn’t limited to a certain theme, but was a quality of mind that pursued everything it touched – whether it be geometry, theology or natural phenomena – with an encompassing intensity. His fascination and love for poetry, nature, and the elements at large inspired him. His exposure and training in Paris were ideal in shaping this enthusiasm. Raza’s landscapes were therefore strong, vibrant and even his ‘Bindu’ was derived from the intimacy he maintained with his themes. He reflects on this in his own words: “Painting is something alive as human beings in its different manifestations… It is a vital process of becoming. Just imagine how fascinating it is that the seed contains the total inherent forces of a plant, of animal life, and so on and so forth. And that could be the same process in form too!”

Raza will be remembered as an indispensable force that energised the modern art movement in India. His emergence as a modern artist was at a time when the genre was struggling to find its unique language in the country and his was an influence that catalysed this seminal art movement.

At 94, Raza left behind a verse from the Bhagavad Gita in his personal diary:
Hidden in Nature, which is Mine [My] own,
I emanate forth again and again
All these multitudes of being
necessarily by the force of nature.

Bhagavad Gita – IX, 8.

Raza found and met art at the source of his being; the beauty of this encounter is that it is one that continues to flourish, in the minds of all those who seek from it, even in times that know him no more.


A click-and-mortar gallery for South Asian art


F. N. Souza – ‘Head’ – acrylic and black marker pen on colour printed paper

Published: 15:26 March 2, 2016 (Gulf News)

By Jyoti Kalsi (Special to Weekend Review)

This month, Artiana will hold its first auction of 60 lots that include paintings, works on paper and sculptures by modern masters and contemporary artists

Artiana, an online auction platform for modern and contemporary South Asian art will hold its first auction from March 17 to March 21. The 60 lots on sale include oil and acrylic paintings, works on paper and sculptures by modern masters and leading contemporary artists from South Asia such as S.H. Raza, F.N. Souza, Ganesh Pyne, M.F. Hussain, Akbar Padamsee, Jehangir Sabavala, Sakti Burman, Laxma Goud, Himmat Shah, Ismail Gulgee, Senaka Senanayake and George Keyt.

The artworks can be viewed at Artiana’s viewing gallery in Business Bay, Dubai, and online at www.artiana.com. The auction will commence at 6pm on March 17 with the final sales beginning at 7pm on March 21. Registered buyers can also place advance bids. A unique feature of this virtual auction house is that it does not charge a buyers’ premium on sales.

Artiana has been founded by Lavesh Jagasia, an art connoisseur, collector and consultant, who runs the Dubai-based art consultancy, The Fine Art Advisory, and art publishing company, The Serigraph Studio, which collaborates with leading South Asian artists to create high-quality serigraphs of their works.

“Artiana bridges the gap between traditional and online auction houses with a unique click-and-mortar hybrid that offers personalised client consultations, printed auction catalogues and a viewing gallery, along with timed online auctions that are accessible to people living in different time zones, and in-house delivery and logistics infrastructure. Our aim is to offer collectors of South Asian art from around the globe an opportunity to acquire genuine artworks at fair prices. We want to redefine and streamline the auction process, and create a seamless and transparent interface between buyers and sellers, that delivers the excitement of art auctions through the convenient medium of the internet,” Jagasia says.

“As a collector, I know how stressful it is to make quick bidding decisions in the charged, competitive atmosphere of an auction house. Buyers also have to keep in mind the buyers’ premium that ranges from 20 to 35 per cent of the sale price, while making their bid. With our state-of-the-art proprietary auction application software, registered buyers can bid from the comfort of their home, and from any android or iOS device, either before or during the auction. With no premium or taxes to pay, buyers will pay exactly the amount they have bid, while sellers will get access to a global market as well as the best possible price,” he adds.

The artworks will be displayed at Artiana’s viewing gallery in Business Bay, Dubai until March 16. For viewing appointments and buyer registration, write to [email protected]

Artist Jehangir Sabavala passes away

Jehangir Sabavala passes away

Hindustan Times, Saturday, September 03, 2011

Riddhi Doshi  ([email protected])

MUMBAI: Jehangir Sabavala, Padmashree awardee and master artist, died at Breach Candy Hospital on Friday morning of complications caused by lung cancer. He was 89. “Jehangir had been unwell for two years and was frequently in and out of hospital,” said close friend Lavesh Jagasia, an art entrepreneur. The renowned Parsi painter is survived by wife Shirin and daughter Mafreed. He was cremated at Chandanwadi, Marine Lines, on Friday afternoon, in keeping with his wishes. Jagasia met Sabavala a week before his death and said the dapper artist was his usual energetic self, “dressed perfectly in a crisp shirt and cravat.” Sabavala, known for the integrity and unique language of his art, created only five or six canvasses a year but was known as a pioneer of the contemporary Indian art scene. “Despite studying art in London and Paris, Sabavala returned to India to practice here and develop his own unique art language,” said Pheroza Godrej, owner of Breach Candy’s Cymroza art gallery. He was a very giving, generous person, adds Geeta Mehra, owner of Sakshi art gallery, which organised a retrospective of Sabavala’s works four years ago. “His works had a haunting and magnetic aura. He nurtured many young artists and had time for everybody. It is difficult to come to terms with the fact that he is not with us any more.

Rising graph of reprints

(By Jyoti Kalsi, Special To Weekend Review, Published: 00:30 February 29, 2008)S.H.Raza & Lavesh Jagasia copy 2

Over the past few years, the demand for contemporary Indian art has seen a boom in the international art market. As a result, original works by established artists are not easily available and they command prices that keep them out of reach of art collectors. That is where Lavesh Jagasia comes in. An avid collector of Indian art, the former fashion designer had the foresight to realise that with the rapid development of the market, collectors would turn to limited edition fine art prints to fulfil the desire of owning works by their favourite artists.

“In all mature art markets, there is hectic activity in the prints market with those by eminent artists fetching thousands of dollars. About seven years ago, I saw that contemporary Indian and Chinese art was moving in that direction but nobody in India was addressing the need at that time,” Jagasia said.

Having been a collector for over 15 years, he had good relationships with many leading artists and approached them with the idea of creating limited edition fine art prints of their important works.
“They agreed because they trusted me and my knowledge of their work. Some of them did express concern that it might be unprofitable for me. “And they were quite justified in thinking so because in the 1970s I had arranged an exhibition of lithographs by M.F. Husain and Tyeb Mehta. We were selling them for just Rs20 and yet we did not sell a single piece,” he recalled.

Unlimited dividends

But this time he was convinced that the secondary art market in India was mature and ready.Jagasia gave up his career as a designer to launch The Serigraph Studio, a fine art publishing company that represents eminent contemporary Indian artists such as S.H. Raza, Jogen Chowdhury, Paritosh Sen, Ram Kumar, Jehangir Sabavala, K.G. Subramanyam, Rameshwar Broota, Sakti Burman, Ganesh Haloi, Lalu Prosad Shaw, Manu Parekh and Amit Ambalal.

Jagasia’s foresight has paid off. At recent auctions in India and abroad, his serigraphs have fetched three times the original issue price just three months after release.
“I was happy to note that at a recent auction in India, original works by well-known artists remained unsold while there was brisk bidding for our serigraphs,” he said.
The Serigraph Studio functions through art galleries, dealers and consultants and has a website [www.serigraphstudio.com].
It has now come to Dubai and is the first and only fine art publishing service that is providing serigraphs by leading contemporary Indian artists.
“I plan to work closely with local galleries and financial institutions in Dubai. I would like to work with galleries that have not exhibited Indian artists because, besides addressing Indian collectors in this region, I want to widen the base of collectors of contemporary Indian art to other nationalities living here.
Understandably, most collectors are reluctant to spend big money on names they are not familiar with.
But the reasonable prices of our serigraphs should make it easier for us to reach out to new collectors, galleries and investors and introduce them to contemporary Indian art,” Jagasia said. “We would also like to look at creating serigraphs of artworks by artists from this region.”
Jagasia is confident of building a huge cross-cultural base of collectors in this region.
“Collectors are assured of appreciation because our serigraphs are approved, supervised and signed by the artist. They are released in a limited edition of 125 prints and we provide a certificate of authenticity guaranteeing that no more prints of that composition will be made.
In fact, an increase in value is inherent in our sale process. We make prints in two sizes — 22 inches by 30 inches and 44 inches by 30 inches. The first 25 prints of the smaller size are sold for $1,000 and the bigger ones for $1,750.
The price increases by 20 per cent after every 25 prints sold — so the last lot of 25 becomes double the original price. And since our artists are all eminent names, buyers can expect appreciation within three to five years.”
Interestingly, the price is the same for every artist — regardless of their stature, age and market value — giving discerning buyer an arbitrage opportunity.
Jagasia explained that collectible fine art prints could be of various types — such as lithographs, linocuts, woodcuts, etchings and engravings. But he chose to create only serigraphs because this technique produces prints that are closest to the original painting.
“The word ‘serigraph’ means to draw through silk and it is so named because, in the old days, the stencil used for pushing the pigment out on the paper was made of fine silk.
“Unlike offset prints, our serigraphs are fine art prints made by the screen printing method through printers in the UK and Europe,” he said.
The process — from selecting artworks to the exhibition of the serigraphs — takes one year. “We try to select paintings that represent seminal works from the artists’ careers so that their most important works are seen by a wider audience.
“This has brought us unexpected dividends. We expected a clientele that cannot afford original works but our choice of artworks has attracted collectors looking for limited edition prints of important artworks that are not available in the market,” Jagasia said.
His advice to investors: “First, buy something that you like and can live with. Secondly, be prepared to hold the artwork for three to five years,” he said.
He added: “The house of Armani has the couture Giogio Armani label, urban chic Emporio Armani label and the ready to wear Armani Exchange line. Serigraphs are like the Armani Exchange label. Just like it makes sense to stick to brands it is safer to buy prints of good established artists.”