Thota Vaikuntam , The man with a magical brushstroke

If you ever come across a painting of rustic,dusky women draped in vibrant sarees, donningantique ornaments and wearing coin sized bright red vermillion doton the backdrop ofyellow turmeric smearedovertheir foreheads; then chances are you are looking at the work of Thota Vaikuntam. A self-made man born in a humble family, effortlessly portrays the lives of men and women living in a placid village of Telangana on a canvas. A casual run through his paintingsclearly indicates that women are often thesubjects of his artwork. Be it the women in traditional attire adoring a man playing flute or playing flute herself or a mother nurturing her child, his art speaks volumes about these demure yet strongwomen and much more.Nevertheless, his personal favourite is his painting depicting gurukul and its dutifulscholars discussing the world says the artist.

Thota Vaikuntam

Growing up in a small village of Telangana called Burugupalli of Karimnagar district, he often drew inspiration from the lives and culture of his people. As a child he frequently sketched mythological characters after watching theatrical performances in his village enacted by men dressed in vibrant outfits. His biggest motivation although was his saree clad traditional mother and her kitchen says the modest artist. His art is very Indian with bright colours and vivid features which certainly peps up the mood. He believes in using primary colours and says composite colours are unnaturaland non-existent in everyday lives.The frequent presence of parakeetin his paintings reflects love and beauty in his people.

Despite getting an admission in Hyderabad’s College of Fine Arts and Architecture, he kept searching for his muse. Initially, he was confused about his career choice, but with time and effort he understood that he was meant for art. Although, he was just afirst-year student, he often went out with senior students listening to their discussions on contemporary art styles across the world and their future. Yet, he kept pondering over most artist’sinclination towardswestern art form over Indian art. While pursuing his diploma in painting and print-making from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda he chanced to get tutored by an eminent artist K. G. Subramanyan, whom he lovingly called ‘Mani da’. As a teacher he guided young Thota Vaikuntam to follow his inner calling and create his own style which no one can teach him but himself. This was when he decided to stick to his roots and paint what he feelsabout his village. That’s when he created magic with his brush stroke and the rest is history.

His early years of art-making mostly had him use charcoal, but with time he experimented with pencil drawing, partial coloration, transparent washes and later started usingacrylic and oil on canvas. His colourful paintingsbroughthim a significant recognition for itsvivacious hues. Although, his paintings have evolved over the years in size and medium, the mood of his artwork has never changed despite all the modernisation of the society including his own village. Being born in the time when televisions and computers were seldom seen in homes, he recalls how people made real conversations with each other and enjoyed the stage shows presented by brightly dressed artists. These performers inspired him to be an artist. He says he is grateful to be born in his village and that it is his Guru.However, being an artist wasn’t easy says the man himself, with a family to support and hardly any income, he had his share of ordeals in initial years, but his passion for art kept him going and be what he is today.

With a career that spans 40 years, artist Thota Vaikuntam has exhibited his work in several countries and has had more than 35 solo gallery shows and over 50 group gallery shows. He is being bestowed withnumerous accolades includinga National award, Hyderabad Arts Society award and a Bharat Bhavan Biennale Award for his work as an artist. Besides painting he had a brief stint in film-making as an art-director for multiple Telugu movies, among which a film called Daasiearned him a National award for best art direction.

Regardless ofall the achievements he isa self-effacing man with an amicable personality. His advice to young artists is to stay close to their cultural ethos and create eloquentartwork which defines them. His narrative is an inspiration to budding artists and everyone alike, that hard work always pays and staying close to roots can never let a person down.

More People Buying Art as Investment

Investing successfully in art has always been a bit of a quagmire: opaque, inscrutable, unpredictable, ruled by passionate collectors and secretive insiders, a dangerous game for amateurs. And collectors and connoisseurs have long purchased art out of passion, but that may be changing, a new survey found.

Seventy-six percent of collectors are buying art for collecting purposes, but with an investment view, up from 53 percent in 2012, according to a recent survey by Deloitte Luxembourg and ArtTactic. In addition, 81 percent of art professionals say clients are buying art for collecting purposes but with the investment tilt, up from 77 percent in 2012.

The Art & Finance Report 2014 surveyed 35 private banks, 14 family offices, 90 art collectors and 122 art professionals on their views of art and finance.

“We see significant opportunities for innovation and change, from the growth of art as a capital asset, to new sources of market liquidity, to growing demand for art banking,” said Roger Dassen, global managing director, clients, services and talent, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, in a statement. “The world of art and finance will continue to converge for many years to come.”

The survey found that art is becoming increasingly important in wealth management, with 76 percent of art professionals and 62 percent of art professionals saying art and collectibles should be integrated into the wealth management offering./p>

But wealth managers are not quite as convinced, with 53 percent indicating there is a role for art in wealth management.

For one thing, performance has been poor. The Mei Moses World All Art Index posted negative performance from 2012 to 2013, but it returned 7 percent over the last 10 years, slightly below the S&P 500 total return of 7.4 percent.

Still, the report says there will be an increasing focus on art as wealth managers evolve their services for ultra-high-net-worth individuals. Art is one more way advisors can compete for those types of clients. Specifically, the report says wealth managers will focus on art and estate planning, art and philanthropy and art secured lending.

Why are you/your clients buying art?

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Image Source From-Deloitte Luxembourg & Art Tacticart & Finace Report 2014

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Indian Paintings Sell for $3.7 Million in New York

NEW YORK: Paintings by one of India’s most important modern artists went under the hammer in New York on Wednesday, selling for more than expected at over $3.7 million, auction houses said.

Three untitled oils on canvas by pioneering Indian abstract artist Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde, who in 1964 based himself in New York, were by Christie’s and Bonhams.

The Bonhams canvases, signed and dated 1961 and 1963, came from the artist’s “non-objective” series, and fetched $1.08 million and $1.68 million respectively, Bonhams told AFP.

Both sold for significantly more than their pre-auction upper estimates, and in the case of the 1961 canvas more than double.

The auction house did not identify the buyers further than describing them as international.

Christie’s sold a 1971 “Untitled” in moss green for $965,000, which it said showcases the “painter, philosopher and alchemist at the zenith of his career.”

The auction house said it was bought by an Asian private buyer.

Experts say Gaitonde, who has been compared to Mark Rothko at his best, is poised to join the international modern art canon, in the robust, emerging market in modern Indian art.

The Guggenheim in New York on October 24 opens the first museum exhibition dedicated to the famously reclusive artist, and Gaitonde work has recently set records in the Asian art world.

In 2012 Christie’s set a world record for a modern Indian painting by selling a canvas for $3.79 million. In March, Sotheby’s sold another Gaitonde for $2.5 million.

Born in Nagpur in 1924, Gaitonde was inspired early on by Swiss artist Paul Klee, then turned towards abstraction and cultivated a lifelong interest in Zen Buddhism.

He studied in Bombay and in 1964 lived at New York’s Chelsea Hotel, then a cultural hub that housed Bob Dylan, Arthur Miller and Leonard Cohen.

The last decade has seen an astonishing explosion in the global market for Asian art, fueled by new wealth in the region, particularly in China.

Source From-NDTV

Q. Can art really get any more expensive?

A. ‘We will see a billion dollar work’

(CNN) — When Christie’s launches the latest auction at its New York showroom this evening, gavels will fall. Prices, however, will almost certainly rise … and rise.

For its Post-war Masters and Contemporary Evening Sale, one of this year’s headline art auctions, Christie’s has on offer masterpieces including Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for a Portrait of John Edwards, Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (712), and Mark Rothko’s Untitled during a night expected to fetch well north of $200 million.

Christie’s estimates that the Richter work will command a price of between $22 and $28 million, the Rothko between $40 and $60 million, and the Bacon triptych around $80 million.

The house has reason to be upbeat with its estimates.

On May 12, during an auction titled “If I Live I’ll See You Tuesday,” buyers from 26 countries splashed out on contemporary works by artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jeff Koons and Richard Prince.

Christie’s sold $134.6 million of art in an hour.

Speaking to journalists after the show, Christie’s Chief Executive Officer Steven Murphy suggested that buyers from emerging markets are helping keep the market vibrant.

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Art Sales on the Rise – London

London: The value of the online fine art market is expected to grow more than double to $3.76 billion in the next five years as it increasingly attracts younger and first-time buyers, said Hiscox British insurer on Monday.

‘Online art sites do not threaten galleries and auction houses in the same way Internet availability has undermined the traditional movie, book and music businesses’, added Hiscox. But the willingness of younger buyers to make their first purchases over the Internet along with the rapid growth of online sites pointed to the future of the sector, it said in a statement.

“Young collectors are looking for art work which can be easy to buy and available at a wide range of prices,” stated Robert Read, Hiscox’s head of fine art.”Online art platforms cater for all tastes and budgets, but are particularly effective for those just starting to collect – opening up the art market in a way that is hard to replicate in the real world.” London-listed Hiscox, which underwrites cover for oil rigs, kidnappings, fine art and vintage cars, estimated the value of global online art sales at $1.57 billion in 2013.

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Online Art market now worth an estimated $1.57bn

New research explores online art buying trends – what people are buying, how much they are spending and the barriers to purchase – and reveals growing confidence in buying art ‘sight unseen’

A future generation of art buyers is likely to make their first art purchase online, with almost 25% of 20 – 30 year olds surveyed saying they first bought art online without seeing the physical piece.

Although 39% of respondents said they find buying art online less intimidating than via a physical gallery or auction, having a bricks-and-mortar presence drives confidence – with 90% of online buyers purchasing from a physical space before buying online.

Limited edition prints are a popular entry point for online art buyers –55% of those surveyed had purchased a print directly via an online platform in the last 12 months.

44% of buyers said they had spent more than £10,000 purchasing art and collectibles online so far, with 21% of this group saying they had spent in excess of £50,000.

Not seeing the physical object remains the biggest hurdle – 82% of those surveyed said the most difficult aspect of buying art online was not being able to physically inspect it.

Source: ArtTactic