Dilip Chobisa



Born: India,

Dilip Chobisa's art occupies a space between the being and absence of the third dimension. The intimate and the minute in life attract his interest an...


Lives & Works: India, Baroda


2002: BVA in Sculpture at the M.S. University, Baroda
2004: MVA in Sculpture at the M.S. University, Baroda...



Feb 2010: Size Matters or Does It?, Latitude 28, New Delhi
Mar 2010: SILENT CELEBRATION, Anant Art Gallery - New Delhi
June 2010: Invisi...



ARTICLE: Young at art

India's young art collectors are only 30 — lawyers who earn by the hour and businessmen who understand their Chobisa as much as their chemicals. The drawings that sheath the only empty wall in Aakaash Belsare and Vishal Vora's Masjid Bunder office — some acting like a canopy for the window air conditioner, still others stacked along the floor — tell the story of how the businessmen jaywalked into art collecting. Three years ago, the partners who trade in industrial chemicals were in Delhi for a business meeting. With some time to spare, they dropped in at Pragati Maidan, the venue of the India International Trade Fair, which they had visited some months ago. This time around, the India Art Summit was in session at the grounds. A few hours later, the two walked out with their first purchase — a Dilip Chobisa sculpture. They weren't finished. Since then, Belsare (31) and Vora (30) have been mentored in art collecting by Bhavna Kakar, the Delhi-based owner of Latitude 28, whose booth they picked up the Chobisa from. Their second work, a crosshatch by Jogen Chowdhury was a satire on people who buy art, "which was befitting us," says Belsare. Soon, the two wriggled into the Indian auction house scene — Asta Guru and Saffronart — to acquire modern artworks by Bhupen Khakhar, Ram Kumar, F N Souza and Krishen Khanna. Along the way, they built a collection of books that educated them on the Indian art scene. While 70 per cent of their works fall within their budget, "some have been bought because we take a fancy to it," smiles Vora. The two split the cost, each contributing 50 per cent from his personal savings. Naturally, their families think they are crazy, Belsare admits, throwing a look at a cemented rock by Prajakta Palav. "But we cut down on other expenses to balance things out." Maithili Parekh, an independent art consultant who helps people build, archive and document their collection, sees the inclusion of young collectors like Belsare and Vora as a fallout of 2009's financial meltdown. Together with bringing corrections in the art market, the collapse lured dynamic professionals who once found art "intimidating and expensive" towards viewing it as investment. Most of them are aged 25 to 45, says the former Sotheby's India director and current advisor to the Ministry of Culture, adding, "Until a few years ago, it was business families that were big players. While they continue to be the core collectors since they have the resource to collect at length and breadth, we are now seeing young professionals and entrepreneurs buying art for the love of it. It's a germ that is sprouting, waiting to mature." Where the new, young collectors score is their quick decision to raise budgets once hooked, slicing down other expenditure, Roshini Vadehra, director of the Vadehra Art Gallery in Delhi, has noticed. She says, "They either look at art as an alternate asset class, or simply aspire to have an enviable collection in their homes." 3-Figure art works Catching on to the craze, Mumbai's galleries have been wooing 'freshers' by hosting affordable art shows. Last June, Sakshi in Colaba put up hundreds of works by artists both, established and emerging including lithographs, drawings and posters by Manjit Bawa, Krishen Khanna, Jitish Kallat, and K G Subramanyan on sale. The starting price: Rs 500. Most works in the Easy Buy category were priced under Rs 10,000, including M F Husain prints. At Rs 3.5 lakh, Jogen Chowdhury's black-and-white charcoal drawing was the most expensive piece. Art historian and Sakshi's proprietor Geetha Mehra saw a different footfall that fortnight. "I had a sailor, lawyers, even curious collegians walk in. I hadn't seen something like that in a long time." The Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke nearby in Colaba is preparing to host the second season of Art for Young Collectors this August, after exhibiting works by new artists Juhikadevi Bhanjdeo, Midhungopi P, Abul Hisham and Arundhati Saikia, priced between Rs 5,000 and Rs 2,00,000 last year. Ranjana Steinruecke says the younger lot sees relevance in art. "It informs their existence in a way," she says. Let me tell you how Enticing the new buyer isn't enough, though. Galleries understand that if they wish to cultivate a new collector base, they must invest in education. Most financial experts, filmmakers, designers who have the resources to make steep purchases may not have enjoyed exposure to art. Early last month, Colaba's top nine galleries including Volte, Chemould Prescott Road, The Guild, Lakeeren, Project 88, Gallery Maskara and Chatterjee & Lal, organised a classroom at a suburban five-star. British art critic, author, broadcaster and artist Mathew Collings was at the helm, covering everything from 'global' to 'popular' in the contemporary art world for an audience that including exhibitors, curators, artists, writers, and new collectors. "We were also keen that our collectors' children attend the seminar, since they are seen as the future collector base," says Steinruecke. Legacy follows Thirty-year-old Nicholai Sachdev would qualify in that category. The son of Arun and Chandra Sachdev, who run Gallery 7, says, given his exposure, it is hard to imagine a home without art and books. The gallerist, who deals with the moderns and new contemporary art by out-of-art-school graduates, Sachdev also consults bankers, doctors and lawyers in their 20s who are keen investors. "Art is considered a blue-chip investment. When I get someone with deep resources, I indulge them in the moderns. But if it's a young professional with disposable income, I'd guide him to an upcoming artist, all the while encouraging him to see and read more." Actor Sonam Kapoor's mother Sunita Kapoor, an avid collector, has the masters (Jehangir Sabavala, M F Husain and Sakti Burman) hanging at her Juhu home. Sonam, who is building her own collection of the moderns and young contemporaries, boasts of a Manjit Bawa and a Shibu Natesan work in her kitty. While hers and the Belsare-Vora collection are personal ("we don't want to be answerable to our parents"), Sonam's sister Rhea, a stylist and producer with their home production firm, Anil Kapoor Film Co., is building her corporate collection that she hopes will grace her new office in Santacruz. The 26-year-old is consulting Cecilia Morelli Parekh, founder of concept store Le Mill, to build her stockpile. She says, "I have only one work as of now... still a long way to go." - Reema Gehi

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Nam Jun Paik

Capitol Talkies, 2011

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