The art market works by how much the art is appreciated in the market. The other kind of disbelief has to do with prices, and it might prove as gimmicky as Hirst’s installation. When a small painting by Leonardo da Vinci, Salvator Mundi, sold for $450 million this March — making it the world’s most expensive work of art — it made news as much for its value as for the controversies surrounding it. Experts derided it as fake; others claimed it was shoddily restored; most believed it was definitely not worth its humungous value. There is no quarrel that Indian artists are at par with their peers internationally, but value is determined by such factors as museums and important collectors that seek out their works. In the case of Indian art, barring few exceptions, it is Indians and non-resident Indians who make up the bulk of the Rs 1,460-crore market, according to the FICCI-KPMG report ‘Visual Arts Industry: Painting the Future’. Demonetisation and GST have had an impact (with a 6 per cent decline in art sales in 2017), but the market is on a slow incline, with gallery sales making up 64 per cent of the market, while auction houses with their transparent pricing constitute 36 per cent.