Mumbai is being treated to the crème de la crème of the art world. After Andy Warhol, the works of two more international legends enter the city-the eccentric Damien Hirst and master sculptor Auguste Rodin.
Brought down by Marigold Fine Art, this is the first time that works of these artists will be available for viewing and sale in the city. “This is the biggest art event that Mumbai’s scene in quite some time now,” says Sapna Kar, who helped organise the exhibition. She adds, “Some of Rodin’s most famous works, including, The Thinker, which sold at a recent auction for $ 1,85,000 (approx Rs 87 lakh) are available here, at a more reasonable price.”
Speaking of Hirst, whose artwork (Rs 35 lakh approximately) is titled Fun and features butterflies in a frame, Kar says, “He’s sassy and really eccentric. He’s showcased at Delhi’s India Art Summit before, but this is the first time he’s come to Mumbai.”
Apart from these art heavyweights, the exhibition is also introducing younger names like Lorenzo Quinn, whose work recently met with much success at an auction in Mumbai, and David Kracov, whose ‘fun’ paintings, Kar says, will suit Indian sensibilities. The artworks are being sold in a range of Rs 2 – 6 lakh through direct sales, on a first-come-first-serve basis. Part of the proceeds from the sale will go towards Sushmita Sen’s I AM Foundation. “The market for international art is slowly opening,” Kar admits. “We’ve already received pre-booking for some of the works of the younger artistes.”
While she acknowledges that the Indian middle class is slowly opening up to art as an investment, Kar says, “The best way to buy art is because you like the painting, not because it will appreciate in value in a few years. But many people are now looking at it as an investment.”
On why Delhi has more exposure to international art than Mumbai, Kar says, “Mumbai’s art collectors are more serious and mature. But Delhi gets to see bigger works because of the India Art Summit. We were lucky this time to see Anish Kapoor and Andy Warhol. Hopefully, that list will increase.”