8 Jan 2009, Pranava K Chaudhary, TNN
PATNA: Leading contemporary artist Subodh Gupta is, what they say, paying back to his home state Bihar which saw the worst-ever floods last monsoon. He collaborated with his celebrity friends in the art world, and collected Rs 4.17 crore through online auction of their paintings for rehabilitation of the state's flood victims.
Gupta is among few Indian artists who have made meteoric rise during the past few years. One of his paintings sold at a whopping Rs 4.28 crore at a recent art auction at Gurgaon, where bidders from 32 countries competed with one another for 100-odd works of art by Indian contemporaries.
"We persuaded 30 leading Indian contemporary artists to donate their works for the flood-relief auction," Gupta and his wife, Bharti, informed TOI in an e-mail. Saffronart, Peter Nagi of Nature Morte Gallery and Trident Hotel at Gurgaon collaborated in the project. The auction was hosted by Saffronart on its online platform on November 11 and 12.
Gupta and his friends have selected two Bihar-based NGOs __ Gunj and Samajik Saikshanik Vikas Kendra (SSVK) -- to spend the money in the flood-hit areas. "We have already disbursed Rs 50 lakh to Gunj and Rs 34 lakh to SSVK," Gupta said.
In response to a query, Gupta, a native of Khagaul near Patna, said he often thought about the plight of flood-hit people when mercury dips. "That's how the idea of a charity auction struck me," he said.
More than three million people were rendered homeless by the floods as the mighty Kosi river changed its course following a breach in its embankment at Kusaha in Nepal on August 18, 2008.