When and where did you buy this painting?
I bought this painting about six months ago from the Vadehra Art Gallery. I first got interested in A. Ramachandran when I saw the Yayati series in Ebrahim Alkazi’s collection. It blew my mind, and I said, ‘I must have one’. Also, I think Ramachandran is an important painter and I would like to recommend two volumes, which are also very good, by K. Siva Kumar titled A. Ramachandran Retrospective—which is a set of two volumes showcasing the entire career of the artist. The book is a testimony to the life and work of this multifaceted artist.
What appealed to you about the painting?
Colour correction: The multifaceted face of a lotus pond
The wonderful water lotuses, butterflies and brilliant colours appealed to me in this one. It is from his 2005 collection titled The Universes in the Lotus Pond. It’s called The Dream of a Politically Incorrect Artist. The conceit is that the artist is in every picture. The vibrancy and play of colours gives it an almost dream-like quality. Also, though in that series all the paintings were brilliant, some were too big, some too expensive and this was the only one that was perfect for me.
Where do you exhibit it and why there?
It’s in the dining room because there was no other space large enough in the house for it.
What do you keep in mind while buying art?
The most important thing is what I like. It doesn’t have to be beautiful. It can be disturbing. In fact, it is often disturbing. Art is meant not to be beautiful only, sometimes it is also to shake you up to a reality that you are not normally aware of. I don’t buy paintings as an investment, I buy them for what I like.
Would you ever sell it?
If I was bankrupt, then, yes. Like, if I was in a desperate need of money, I would probably sell it.
What does the Indian art boom mean to you?
It is good for the painter and art galleries. It is going to encourage a lot of youngsters who can finally make a living from art. It is a good thing.
What art inspires you?
I feel that man-made beauty is more enduring and exciting than natural beauty. In other words, I would tire of a scene of nature but I wouldn’t tire of looking at a painting over and over again. Therefore, when I think of what inspires me, it is the great works of art, be it sculptures by Phidias or a self-portrait by Rembrandt.
Which other painters do you like?
The painters I like are the ones I have in my collection, such as Sudhir Patwardhan, Nalini Malani, Bhupen Khakhar and Akbar Padamsee. Besides these, I am also very fond of Gulam Sheikh, Vivan Sundaram, Amrita Sher-Gil, Arpita Singh, Gieve Patel, and many others.
How often do you attend art shows?
I would say about once in six weeks.
Abstract or figurative art—which one would you prefer?
I like both, but I guess I would have to say I prefer figurative more.
A. Ramachandran’s works are sold for at least Rs6 lakh.