Browsing: Art

3 Indian Contemporary Art – Tips for Collectors

Are you a lover of contemporary Indian art who always thought collecting art was beyond your means?
Did you think you’d have to mortgage your house – and sell your soul – to obtain an MF Husain?
Were you always intimidated by the art auctions which seemed so elitist and such a closed club?
Well here’s Anu Nanavati Chaddha, Director of Saffronart in New York, to show the path to newbie collectors and to answer all the questions you had about contemporary Indian art – but were afraid to ask.

3 M.F. Husain – Death of an Icon

M.F. Husain – Goodbye to an Icon. (September 17, 1915 – June 9, 2011)

The great artist died of a heart-attack in London, far from his homeland of India. He was a giant of the contemporary Indian art world and there are as many colorful stories about him, about the controversies swirling about him, as there are unmatchable pieces of art which encapsulate the complexities of India. New York gallerist and collector Kent Charugundla shares some untold stories about the flamboyant artist. Join in sharing your comments and memories of M F Husain.

10 Thomas Kelly & Vanishing Cultures

Some of the most poignant testimony of a culture in flux is Thomas Kelly’s ethnographic work of marginalized, landless communities. He has lived with the Badi people where the young women have had to sell themselves to keep their families out of poverty. Once they were singers and dancers and entertainers at weddings and other ceremonies – now these women have to use their bodies as a source of income.

Using a Gates grant, Kelly looked into the lives of fallen angels in various parts of Asia, from ‘maalish’ or massage boys in hotels to sex worker communities, analyzing what drove them to this work and how they could be helped by the organizations.

1 Asian Contemporary Art Week 2011 – Art's Heart

Imagine a room full of women, prostitutes, lowest of the low. They are faceless – without an identity, without a future. They are created out of found objects, the flotsam and jetsam of society.
Their heads are fashioned out of jars, their breasts are jars shaped like voluptuous melons– after all, aren’t women objects? They lack hands, and some even their lower limbs, they have no standing in society. Clad in flashy underwear and gold heels, they are what they wear, sexual objects in an uncaring society.
And yet to stand in that small room with these life-sized, lifeless women was to feel their presence and their pain. It seemed almost a community. Iranian artist Shirin Fakim’s women were just one vignette of the recent Asian Contemporary Art Week (ACAW)

0 Indian & Pakistani Contemporary Art, Together

A precursor to Asian Contemporary Art Week in NY, a recent group show: India and Pakistan may have been geographically birthed on the same subcontinent but they are relentlessly apart as nations. It is a question of so near – and yet so far. Once one people, they are now so far apart that can one understand the mindset of The Other?

Yet, art by Indian and Pakistani artists hung side by side in the Aicon Gallery in Manhattan – perhaps there were not even six degrees of separation between these canvases.

Looking at these powerful works of art one would be hard-pressed to say which artist was from India, and which from Pakistan. This only goes to prove that at heart, the dreams, the hopes and the fears are the same…

2 Ricardo Mazal, Life, Death on Mount Kailash

Mount Kailash, Tibet’s holiest summit, gives lessons in life – and death. It can even inspire people who have never seen it. Mexican artist Ricardo Mazal was mesmerized by the images and took a trip, one of the most difficult he’s ever attempted, to do the ‘Kora’ or pilgrimage which is a 33 mile trek around the peak, and is undertaken by Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and Bonpos alike.

It is believed that 108 rounds of Mount Kailash can lead to nirvana. The Kora became a pilgrimage for Ricardo Mazal to unearth larger truths about life and death.

7 Roberto Custodio: Finding God

Who has ever seen the face of the Almighty? Does He wear a peacock feather in His hair or perhaps a coiled snake around His neck? Is the Omnipresent a many-armed powerful Goddess with green eyes or a gentle, golden Madonna and Child?

East and west blend in the surreal works of Brazilian artist Roberto Custodio in which blue-eyed Gods and beauty queen goddesses preside, and the flora and fauna of many continents merge. He creates magic worlds from found materials and paper clippings, discarded consumer magazines which he recycles to create his own truths.

1 Asian Art Week Love Fest

Sometimes you buy a piece of contemporary Indian art and get a love story too in the bargain! Cinq Sens (Five Senses) by M. F. Husain is a powerful work originally gifted by the artist many, many years ago to film director Roberto Rossellini and his Bengali wife, Sonali Dasgupta.
It was a love match he helped bring about, for at that time Rossellini was married to the noted actress Ingrid Bergman and Sonali was the wife of a documentary film-maker in Calcutta. The painting is estimated at $500,-700,000 and is being auctioned by Sotheby’s, and here’s the story behind it.UPDATE – IT SOLD FOR $782,500

0 Malleable Memory: How True is Truth?

We are a simmering bundle of the past, the present and our hopes and anxieties about the future – what we remember and what we choose to forget becomes the world around us. Memories often trespass from locked rooms and forbidden places in the mind into the present. Some of them become the scaffolding for art, for the truths artists want to share through their work. Yet seen through the distancing telescope of memory, how true is truth?

1 Indian Contemporary Art, The Comeback Kid

Contemporary Indian art is certainly the comeback kid if the March auction results at Christies, Sotheby’s and the online auction house Saffronart are any indication. The sales revealed a healthy appetite amongst collectors for buying the best of Indian modern and contemporary art after the slowdown experienced immediately after the economic downturn.