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Rahul Chakraborty shares that it is painful to see visual artists fail to get royalties

Indian watercolor artist Rahul Chakraborty says the art world is still struggling a year and a half after the lockdown to survive the effects of lockdowns, travel bans, and social distancing. Add to this the lack of artist licenses and the challenges for the community in India are increasing.

“It brings with it such a scenario that there are no more physical exhibitions, no more physical workshops / classes, and artists still have to earn enough to live on. It is painful to see that the creator does not receive royalties on his artwork, while buyers and sellers earn exponential values ​​in terms of art and money, ”he says.

Chakraborty, who is now the COO of the art tech organization Jumbish, quit his financially stable 9-to-five job to become a full-time artist regardless of the financial uncertainties in an artist’s life. He also started his own art school called RahulOnkon. He says his artistic qualities were heavily influenced by Fabriano InAcquarello and became the Asia-continental administrator of the International Museum of Watercolor’s platform.

“The lockdown represents an unprecedented challenge for the art domain, but it has also brought a great opportunity for growth as the artist himself can explore new avenues to reach audiences on the internet. In recent years, numerous online galleries, platforms, marketplaces, and even social media shops have started distributing and selling works of art over the internet. A great opportunity for artists everywhere to share their art and expand their audiences. But the competition is tough and it’s not always easy to understand how to make your art visible. ”

“Future artists need to educate themselves about technology and its implications and improve them. They need to open their perspectives to the NFT platform. In the coming days, NFT will be the game changer. Early adopters can have an added advantage in this era. I think the likely art buyers would be the millennials in their twenties now. We have to make our art visible to the platforms / media that our potential buyers are on, ”says the artist.

Regarding the concept of artist royalties, he explains: “Artist resale rights, or Droit De Suite as it is known in French terminology, is both an example of an economic right and an extension of the personality theory of copyright law that emphasizes a work that has character and character Representing the personality of the artist / author. It becomes an essential part of moral rights, especially for visual artists. ”

“This enables the authors of artistic works to benefit from the increasing value of the work, since a work of art is one in which the value increases over time, popularity and its different interpretations. It has been argued that the art market is too volatile to predict when, or to what extent, a work of art may appreciate in value, if at all, and it takes exposure and multiple sales to reach such a point. Artists can sell their one-of-a-kind, one-piece work of art at a lower cost initially, but value can increase as they gain popularity and it is imperative not to jeopardize their interest in it.

According to Sonam Chandwani of KS Legal and Associates, copyright and royalty information is not a widespread topic in the creative world, especially the art market. The lawyer says artists can earn royalties on reselling their work.

“The issue of license fees for visual artists is long overdue. Like musicians and writers, visual artists deserve compensation for their intellectual property and today this seems very possible with blockchain technology. This will undoubtedly be a positive step for the welfare of the artist community. This is a necessary break that needs to be given to give artists more parity in the secondary art market. ”

“In my opinion, this is inevitable – if not in the immediate future, but definitely in the distant future. The bigger question is how it will shape the market. The general perception is that a blockchain-enabled licensing system will challenge intermediaries such as galleries, curators and dealers as it will enforce transparency in an industry where a large part of the market lives from information asymmetry. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Greater system-generated transparency will bring more professionalism to all actors in the ecosystem, ”says Lubna Sen, art curator and founder of The Art Route.

How does Jumbish approach the problem? “Piracy, no royalties, and long wearing time are very common challenges an artist faces. With our flagship project – JDAT – we offer a solution for this. This enables our art collectors to have a better and paperless provenance. Remember that royalty and origins are related. Provenance is a proof of ownership for this work of art, which contains the history of the owner and the details of the painting. ”

“To keep track of things, Jumbish brought a microchip called Jumbish Digital Authentication Tag (JDAT), which is a highly secure chip and can be read by any NFC reader. JDAT apparently looks like thin paper, once it is stuck to the back of the painting, the painting itself becomes a certificate of authenticity. ”

With pioneering technology like JDAT, the artist can expect to be paid a pre-determined percentage of the resale amount once the sale is sealed.

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