Thursday, September 22, 2005

Would You Pay $1.58 million for this painting?

(Photo of painter and reproduction of Mahishasura from Rediff)

A bidder at Christie's New York recently did so, according to the Calcutta Telegraph. At $1,584,000, it is the highest price ever paid for a work by an Indian painter. According to the Mumbai Newsline edition of Express India, the painting, by Mumbai-based Tyeb Mehta, was purchased by an NRI in New York. It may be just the bad reproduction, but I don't find the painting terribly exciting. Here is the story behind it, according to Rediff:

Mumbai-based 80-year-old [Tyeb] Mehta's Mahishasura is said to be a work in karmic origami depicting the Hindu tale Goddess Durga slaying the demon Mahishasura. But Mehta has depicted Mahishasura a sympathetic figure embracing the goddess symbolising the demon's transformation after uniting with the divine.

I'm not quite sure I see it in the painting. But ok. A little more from Rediff on Tyeb Mehta:

Mehta is part of the Progressive Artists Group which draws inspiration from European masters but interprets Indian themes. He is said to be a very meticulous artist and is not as prolific as Indian master M F Husain.

There is a full profile of Mehta here. The same page includes an older version Mahishasura by Mehta.

There are higher quality reproductions of Mehta paintings here and here.



Blogger RajpaL said...

I can never understand paintings properly. I agree there can be some good paintings but then I ocassionally think - whats all that fuss (& money involved) with paintings such as the Leonardo's Mona Lisa, Van Gogh's Sunflowers etc. Ones just a smiling lady and other a bunch of sunflowers in a vase (which reportedly is worth MILLIONS!!). Although Leonardo's 'The Last Supper' is VERY nice.

On the other hand - I do appreciate Michelangelo's work with Sistine Chapel. Thats amazing art! Taj Mahal is a work of art. I am sorry, I do not understand paintings though!

5:15 AM  
Anonymous DesiDancer said...

give me a good photograph over a painting ANY day...

10:03 AM  
Blogger Prathibimba said...

This looks somewhat akin to Picassos works... I can hardly make out anything in the modern paintings...There is this story that a famous NY collector bought a painting and had hung it upside down till the artist happened to see it and tell him about it! Huh...

But I can understand the Renaissance masters... Da Vinci, Michelangelo, etc in whose paintings you can see the subtle facial expressions, the twitching of the nerves, the veins and all minutae...

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tyeb Mehta, one of the most media shy and respected painters, has been covered quite well on TOI's culture page.

3:40 AM  
Blogger Qalandar said...

Must say I have a different take on paintings that depict/reinterpret mythological subjects. Absolutely love Shuvaprasanna:

10:31 AM  

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