>> The big news that’s creating waves in the art world is that the Delhi–based Gallery Nature Morte founded by American indophile Peter Nagy is allegedly being sold to a hitherto undisclosed buyer.
Apparently, Nagy who had within a short span of time created an institution of international repute, (with an outpost in Berlin) and represented what appeared to be every contemporary artist who mattered (read Subodh Gupta, Atul Dodiya, Bharti Kher, Jitesh Kallat and Dayanita Singh) is reportedly contemplating entering the art summit space and giving Neha Kirpal’s Art Fair a run for its money.
“The thinking probably is that if Kirpal at 27 could create such a huge success having no experience or knowledge of the art world, someone like Nagy known as ‘the poster boy of Indian contemporary art’ can do so much more.
True that. But his listed artists cannot be faulted for being in a state of shock and insecurity about their future. As one of them said to us off record, “We suspected something was up when the usually discerning gallery began to show people like JJ Vallaya!” Expect a fair amount of fluidity in the art world in the next few months.
New Year in Candolim?
>> Every year, his New Year parties used to be the icing on Goa’s December cake with Bollywood stars, blue-chip industrialists and international DJs adding to the glamour.
And then Vijay Mallya perhaps got a bit bored of the same old, same old and took a break and the Goa party hearty crowd had to fend for itself and make alternate plans. But now, we hear that Mallya is planning to host his mega party at his Balinese-style mansion in Candolim again this year. “The choice was for bringing in the New Year in South Africa, Myanmar or Goa,” says a friend of his. “Ultimately Goa won!” The man’s unstoppable!
>> Saturday night saw the best and brightest on Mumbai’s social/cultural scene attending the launch of the BMW Guggenheim Lab at the Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum followed by dinner at Farrokh Khambata’s Amadeus hosted by the US consulate.
“The BMW Guggenheim Lab will lead design projects, participatory studies, tours, talks, workshops, film screenings and cultural activities that address the many opportunities related to public space and the choices Mumbaikars make to balance individual and community needs. The Dr Bhau Daji Lad Museum is collaborating with the lab as part of a larger initiative of creating a public forum for dialogue on urban spaces and the choices Mumbaikars make to balance individual and community needs,” said Tasneem Mehta, managing trustee and honorary director when we met her at the opening night celebration dinner for the Times of India Literary Carnival on Friday night.
Farah’s royal connection
>> Spotted after a long time and that too in Mumbai, was the beautiful Maharani Padmini Devi, the Maharani of the erstwhile state of Jaipur (wife of the late Maharajah Bhawani Singh aka Bubbles Jaipur) who along with her daughter Princess Diya Kumari dropped into Farah Ali Khan’s jewellery exhibition held at her mother Zarine’s store Fizaa located at Sanjay Plaza this weekend.
Long time friends of the family, the ladies from Jaipur, no slouches when it comes to owning stellar pieces themselves were seen trying on various necklaces created by Sanjay Khan’s daughter. “They loved them all!” said Farah. Incidentally, Diya Kumari’s son Sawai Padmanabh Singh was who was born in 1998 has been adopted by the late Maharaja as his successor to carry on the Jaipur lineage.
A good fit
>> The fashion mag editor who quit her job in a flurry of speculation we hear is all set to join one of India’s most reputed FMCG companies with interests in soaps, almirahs, hair dye and property. It also has some of India’s most glamorous women on board! Seems like the perfect fit!
>> Her ‘charms’ have been responsible for bagging some of the best apartments in Mumbai and for ensuring her status as a force in its social circles. But recently when she was seen at a high profile party one of her admirers was overheard complaining that she looked ‘a bit odd’. Her piquant beauty seemed a tad askew. “ Must be her Botox session going wrong,” said the gent. “She was looking great until recently.”
>> Oh dear. One true blue SoBo grande dame missed out on her annual lit/culture fix because she misread her SMS as ‘ Let’s meet at the TOI LET festival’. Tcch. Blame it on SMS ubiquity! Where’s spell-check when you need it?
Samudra Mahal’s mystery buyer
>> Whereas news about the sale of the Samudra flat at the dizzying rate of Rs 1.10 lakh per square foot has got all of Mumbai talking, little is known of the banker who paid out the extravagant sum for the stellar pile.
“He’s a Mr Shukla of Citibank and pretty low key,” said our source. “But what’s surprising is how the banking community can afford these prices when every one knows that no bonuses were paid last year!”