You don't have Bidding Access. Please upload KYC in My Account or contact Astaguru.
Popular Culture in Indian Art
By Anandita Bhardwaj
15 Nov 2021
One of the greatest turning points in the history of modern art was the emergence of Pop Art which sought to depict the elements of popular culture in the practice of visual arts. Conceived during the middle of the 20th century in the west, pop art gained great popularity and impacted the new generation of artists across the world. Moreover, it became a bridging gap between masses and modern art practices which hitherto were limited to a lesser number of people, mostly intellectuals and art aficionados. The assimilation of components of popular culture into art practices made the artworks inclusive and more identifiable by a large number of people. In India, artists also responded to this convergence of mass culture and visual arts and created works that are instantly recognizable for the famous subjects they portray. The collection for AstaGuru’s upcoming Collectors Choice Auction features some striking examples of such artworks. Here is a sneak peek
The Bandwallahs By Krishen Khanna: Loud colourful weddings are synonyms to Indian culture and the ‘Bandwallahs’ are synonymous with Indian weddings. Indian artist Krishen Khanna has beautifully captured this emotion with his famed Bandwallah Series of paintings to which he continues to add. As the legend goes, it was the 1970s and while returning from his studio, the artist found himself in a traffic jam perpetuated by a wedding procession or 'baarat'. Watching the bandwallas belt out tunes while balancing their big brass instruments in their bright red costumes led to an epiphany for him and these people became a recurring theme in his work. Talking about this choice of subject the artist in an earlier interview said, “In a way bandwallahs are a relic of the past, a legacy of the British rulers, who now belt out Indian film tunes in traditional celebrations. The uniforms add grandeur and also give certain anonymity to them, almost like the military personnel….There is something sad and musical about them.” Four works from the famed series will be shown in the auction. Lot no. 59, 74, 111, and 145 are from the series.
Big B By Anjolie Ela Menon: Amitabh Bachchan is undoubtedly one of the most famous Indian faces ruling the hearts of millions in the country. In an ode to the Indian superstar Amitabh Bachchan, leading contemporary artist Ela Menon Menon created a painted chair titled ‘Big B.’ The chair showcases Amitabh Bachchan painted on the front of the chair and ‘Big B’ is painted in the rear. The work was showcased in a 2007 exhibition titled ‘Indian Fashion, Art & Design Show to Celebrate 25 Years.’ The presented work is Lot no. 107.
Sachin By Bhupen Khakhar: As they say, cricket is a religion in India. And master blaster Sachin Tendulkar is the god of cricket. Celebrating the legacy of the sports superstar loved and revered by millions of cricket fans, artist Bhupen Khakhar created a striking watercolour portrait. Bhupen Khakhar, who was a leading contemporary artist of India created this work in 1994. The work is titled ‘Sachin.’ The presented work is Lot no. 12.
Pyaar Hua By Arpana Caur: Chronicling one of the most famous romantic Indian songs ever filmed, the presented work by artist Arpana Caur recreates the iconic scene from the song ‘Pyaar Hua’ from the movie Shree 420 featuring legendary actors Nargis and Raj Kapoor. The oil on canvas work was executed in 1999. The presented work is Lot no. 90.
The presented works will be featured in AstaGuru’s upcoming Collectors’ Choice Auction, scheduled on November 20-21, 2021. All lots will be offered without a reserve. Bidding for all artworks will commence at Rs 20,000. To see all the lots listed in the auction catalogue, visit the AstaGuru website.