When and where did you pick up this painting?
My husband Ashish and I bought it more than a year ago. I had heard of this artist, but had missed his exhibition. We saw this painting on Saffronart.com and it appealed to us. We’re not comfortable buying art online, so we went to the Saffronart gallery to have a look at it.
What about this painting appealed to you?
It’s an oil-on-canvas, showing a girl playing a flute with vines around her. The colours are unusual and interesting— off-white, beige, grey and green. This artist tends to style all his characters with pretty doe-like eyes.
Where have you displayed the work?
We’ve put it in our bedroom, just above our bed. We didn’t bother to match the art with the rest of the décor, but it fits in perfectly because our walls are off-white.
What do you keep in mind while buying art?
It has to be interesting, appealing and beautiful. We don’t buy big artists, because those are investments. We don’t really care whether our paintings appreciate in value.
Would you sell this painting if the price was right?
Not really, we don’t trade or invest in art. So far we’ve never sold any work, but we may if we run out of space and want to buy some new works.
What does the Indian art boom mean to buyers like you?
We’ve never had the guts to spend Rs10 lakh on a big name. Not that it’s not worth it, but we’re not at a stage where we can follow a whim. It’s great that artists are getting to live better lives, but some operate like Xerox machines, churning out work with no passion.
How much did you spend on this work?
We paid about Rs11,500, including tax.
What’s next on your wish list?
I really love Milburn Cherian’s work. She often paints colourful works with jesters and jokers and there’s always humour in her characters. Many of them have a limb missing; it’s her way of showing that happiness and misery go together as a philosophy. But it’ll be a while before we acquire her work; it’s very intricate and starts at around Rs4 lakh.
Prakash Deshmukh’s works are available at prices between Rs7,000 and Rs19,000.