When art is an easy buy

It would be safe to wager that a typical exhibition at the Sakshi Gallery would attract Mumbai’s crème de la crème. But that presumptuous gamble would need to be put on hold till the end of this month. Sakshi, in the words of director Geeta Mehra, “is on a mission to demystify the myth that you need a fortune to buy a piece of art.”

Art piece by Jogen Chowdhury on sale at Sakshi Gallery (Left), Art piece by Jogen Chowdhury (Right)

Hence, this entire month, media professionals, dishevelled writers, teachers and even unruly college students will frequent the halls of one of Mumbai’s most prestigious art galleries. This time around they will not just be admiring but also be making purchases, as hundreds of art works are up for grabs , starting at Rs 500 in the gallery’s Easy Buy section.

But does this gallimaufry of low value paintings, sketches and art prints have any real value? Mehra says, “The paintings available here will mostly be used by patrons to adorn their walls. However, there are some pieces of significant value here too.”

Among the best buys are prints by MF Husain, lithographs, drawings and posters by Manjit Bawa, NS Harsha, Krishen Khanna, Jitish Kallat, KG Subramanyan and Jogen Chowdhury. “A Bhupen Khakhar limited edition print is up for grabs. There is also a signed, limited edition Arpita Singh print and some fabulous etchings by Somnath Hore. There are also paintings by younger, painters which might be of value if they were to become more established,” says Mehra.

Exhibitions like these are more difficult to coordinate than regular art exhibitions. “While acquiring several works of art over the years, we have also picked up smaller bits and bobs which have accumulated to a sizeable amount. Only now have we been able to squeeze in time to put them up for sale.
A repeat of such a sale would probably require several
more years of purchases,” she explains.

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