Bid for art, not artist

Oct 14, 2012, 10:15 IST | Nivedita Dargalkar

Art Anonymous, an initiative by five artists aims to kick start the practice of exhibiting and auctioning art works that are untitled, unsigned and untagged to promote the art, not the face behind it

In A world obsessed with brands and names, it is high time good, worthy art gets its deserved recognition. This was the argument four like-minded artists Daxa Khandwala, Jessie Shirmali, Monica Jalota and Rekha Shivdasani shared over a cup of coffee that further led them to organise a first-of-its-kind art show in the city called Art Anonymous. The art show will exhibit and auction paintings without disclosing the name of the artist to the potential buyer.

“After attending and participating in endless art shows where the art itself loses the limelight to celebrity inaugurations, corporate sponsorships and star guests, we felt an initiative like this was long needed.

(Left to right) Artists Rekha Shivdasani, Daxa Khandwala and Monica Jalota. Pic/ Pradeep Dhivar

After a while all the shows seem the same, and the art exhibited merely remains a colourful backdrop to the glitzy events,” says Khandwala, an artist who has been exhibiting her art shows for the past 25 years. The group is very clear that they want to do away with this fixation of buyers with the brand name of the artist and want buyers to instead appreciate the beauty of the art itself before considering to buy it.

“Art is a creation from the soul of a passionate being and should be devoid of recognition translated into pricing and identity. Our belief is that good art is worthy of buying without the concern of promoter dominated pricing and identity. That is why the identity of the creator will remain anonymous,” says Jalota.

The first of its kind show will exhibit art untitled, unsigned and untagged. Team Anonymous has identified 10 upcoming artists and five upcoming sculptors from all over India. Two art works by each participant, handpicked by the team, will be exhibited at the CK Nayadu Hall at CCI Club, Churchgate from October 20 to 22. The group also wants to bring quality art within the buying bracket of common people. “To make art affordable is also one of the aims of Art Anonymous. 

An artwork up for auctioning at the Art Anonymous art show to be held between October 20 and 22 at the CK Nayadu Hall at CCI Club

For this, we have requested all the exhibiting artists to price their artworks in the range of Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh and in some paintings even lesser than that,” informs Jalota “It is observed that known art galleries only prefer to host shows by known artists. Also, some people buy art for the brand name associated with it. We want to change this mindset and give a chance to deserving artists to exhibit their artworks,” says Khandwala.

The bids at the art show will be made by a secret ballot and the highest bidder can buy the work at the end of the show. The name of the artists will be revealed only at that time of purchase.

“We have plans to take this concept to other Indian cities as well and even popularise this concept abroad,” concludes Shivdasani. 

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