Sotheby's to showcase Indian photography at New York sale

Ashoke Nag

KOLKATA: Sotheby’s is uncorking Indian contemporary photography at its September auction in New York. The auction is projecting photography as the next big development on the Indian artistic horizon. Each photographic image is estimated in the range of $5,000-15,000.

Among the lots is ‘Fragments of a Wedding Diary’, the 3rd edition of 5, which is a digital image on archival paper. This is a set of 33 framed photographs executed in 2001.

Estimated at $10,000-15,000, the work has been exhibited in museums in Finland and the Hong Kong Visual Arts Centre.

Another piece includes Sunil Gupta’s ‘Homelands’.

The work was showcased in the seminal exhibition, ‘India: Public Places, Private Spaces, Contemporary Photography and Video Art’ in Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey in 2007. It was included in a show in Switzerland in 2007. Gupta’s work at Sotheby’s is estimated to fetch between $5,000-7,000.

Featuring in the selection of photographs is also Vivek Vilasini’s “humorous” work titled ‘Last Supper’. Here, he depicts people in Kathakali outfits seated around a dining table as Christ and his Apostles.

“The choreographed work showcases the beauty and ability of photography as a medium,” said Ms Maithili Parekh, Sotheby’s deputy director. The value of the photograph is between $10,000-15,000.

In the collection is also ‘There Is No Border Here’, a piece photographed by Shilpa Gupta estimated in the range of $6,000-8,000. In step, one finds Tejal Shah’s ‘Encounter(s)’ executed in 2006. Shah’s works have figured in solo exhibits in Mumbai, Berlin and New York. ‘Encounter(s)’ is pegged at an estimate of $6,000-8,000.

“As art prices for paintings and sculptures reach astronomical levels, collectors are turning toward photography which is an affordable and, yet, innovative medium. There are also photographic shows being staged in venues like Newark Museum, New Jersey. Now, Sotheby’s is bringing cutting-edge Indian photography at its Indian art sale in New York,” Ms Parekh said.
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