A Bollywood-themed painting featuring the likeness of three of India’s biggest movie stars sold at a Sotheby’s auction for about $50,000 this week.
Aptly named Bollywood, the triptych painting created by Pakistani artist Rashid Rana features an image of Hrithik Roshan, Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan. It was one of several Indian lots sold at the international contemporary art auction in London this week, including Subodh Gupta’s Untitlted #12 which sold at about $55,000 — higher than forecast by experts.
In all, the auction netted more than $13 million.
“The Rashid Rana painting titled Bollywood, with the images of Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Hrithik Roshan, was estimated at £30,000-40,000. Finally, it was picked up by a collector for a hammer price of £32,450. In step, another Rana painting, Veils, estimated at £30,000-40,000, sold for £61,250,” a Sotheby’s spokesperson said in a released statement to the media from London.
Pointing out how Rana uses different techniques to capture the true emotion of his art pieces, the Sotheby’s spokesperson said there was good reason for the high demand and sale price of the paintings.
“Deftly traversing between diverse mediums like painting, video, installation and photography, Rashid Rana has emerged as one of the leading artistic personalities of his generation, making his presence felt globally,” the spokesperson said. “His work deals with everyday issues encompassing a wide range of themes from urbanization and popular culture to faith and tradition. He often employs video installations and still photography.”
The spokesperson cited one of Rana’s photomontages as a prime example of how pieces such as Bollywood resonate within the art world.
“A case in point is his series of composite photomontages in which each main image is constructed out of countless smaller photos of diametrically opposite subjects. The viewer confronts a moment of sudden withdrawal after moving closer to the picture when one becomes aware of the many miniature images that constitute the larger one.”
Among the other Indian-based artists to make a splash at the Sotheby’s auction was Raqib-Shaw. The London-based artist sold his collection of works, entitled “After Hokusal,” for roughly $100,000. Among the places Shaw has hung his work include London’s White Cube Gallery.
Rana is represented by the Saatchi Gallery in London, home to some of the world’s most recognizable modern art.