ARTIANA – Highlights – Lot 31 – Classical, Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art – Online Auction – No Buyer’s Premium

Francis Newton Souza – ‘Red Houses with Front Garden’ – 1957 – Oil on board – 36 x 24 in. (91.5 x 61 cm.) – Lot 31

Featured in ARTIANA’s upcoming online auction on December 6-10, 2018, is this striking painting by artist Francis Newton Souza – ‘Red Houses with Front Garden’. This work of the artist had been exhibited and published in South Asian Modern Masters of Grosvenor Gallery in London.

Francis Newton Souza is arguably one of the greatest and most celebrated painter in the history of Indian contemporary art. Versatile and spontaneous over the command of his pen and brush, his facility with his craft shows in the diversity of his works. From landscapes, nudes, still-life and to his widely popular strongly drawn heads, Souza spanned the entire gamut.

Painted in 1957, the picture is part of the culmination of both technique and subject in the artist’s prime decade. “Red Houses with Front Garden” depicts an English suburban landscape in Souza’s signature strong and expressive style. The houses, situated in a grassy space, are rendered in simple rectilinear structures punctuated by gnarled trees. The trees set in the foreground give the picture a sense of depth. Unlike other artists, Souza’s landscape is not figurative or life-like, instead they are vehicles of his mood and expression. Inspired by the ecclesiastical architecture of the Roman Catholic churches from his native Goa, the palette of the work was indicative of Souza’s interest in stained-glass windows illustrated with his use of luminous hues framed by dark outlines. Like his other landscapes, the sky appears stormy and turbulent lending a disconcerting sense in the otherwise peaceful scenario. This can be attributed to Souza’s angular brush strokes.

Auction Catalogue – South Asian Art ‘Classical, Modern and Contemporary’ – December 6-10, 2018

ARTIANA – Highlights – Lot 42 – Classical, Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art – Online Auction – No Buyer’s Premium

Artiana auction house will host its South Asian Art online auction on 6- 10 December 2018. Featuring a total of 50 lots, the sale boasts work from modern masters and leading contemporary artists from the Indian subcontinent. Marquee lots to go under the gavel at this auction will be exhibited for viewing at their Downtown Dubai gallery starting December 1st until the 6th by appointment. This includes Sayed Haider Raza’s seminal work,  ‘Prakriti’ (1998) estimated at $150,000 – $250,000. 

Sayed Haider Raza – Prakriti – 1998 – acrylic on canvas – 39.25 x 39.25 in. (100 x 100 cm.) – Lot 42

Throughout his career, Sayed Haider Raza has been influenced by the mystical power of nature. Drawn by his Indian heritage and driven by his desire for the elimination of the inessentials he began an extensive pictorial research of the elements, the potency of colors, and symbols which soon become the formal elements of his paintings. Preoccupied with the use of this elements, it became the center of Raza’s artistic vocabulary and true raison d’être – the purpose of the existence of his painting. He went on to perfect this symbolism throughout the 1980-1990s.

Maintaining harmony in the use of simple geometry and pure color, he adopted a symbolic language to represent different aspects of the natural world. The current work is delineated in sections, with each of them containing an image, usually in geometric shape suggesting the essence of the element. He uses primary colors to highlight the elements; fire, water, wind, earth and the sun. Here he utilizes vibrant red, electric blue, black, ochres and white colors which are also significant colors to the Indian tradition.

S. H. Raza exploits shapes, lines and diagonals to illustrate the union of forces in the universe not merely from form and color but also from their arrangement on the canvas. His works express a highly simplified perception of the powerful forces inherent in nature. “At the epicenter of many of these paintings is a dark, blank void. Emanating from this inner core the forms and shapes are like veins, energizing and giving life to the painting. The viewer begins a visual journey outwards from this centre, a journey through the elements of life itself. Raza explains that at the heart of this unique visual language lie the five key symbols of fire and water, earth, wind and sky, brought together within a geometric framework that also contains signifiers of fertility and fruitfulness, all together underlining the inevitable interrelationship of the key components of the universe and the interconnections of our humble lives within it” (S. H. Raza, Saffronart and Berkeley Square Gallery exhibition catalogue, 2005, not paginated).

Auction Catalogue – South Asian Art ‘Classical, Modern and Contemporary – December 6-10, 2018

ARTIANA – Highlights – Lot 32 – Classical, Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art – Online Auction – No Buyer’s Premium

Maqbool Fida Husain – A Magician Dangles the Fortune Bird in a Cage – 2005 -oil on canvas – 72 x 90 in. (182.9 x 228.6 cm.)- Lot 32

M.F. Husain’s ‘A Magician Dangles the Fortune Bird in a Cage’ (2005) is expected to go under the hammer on 6-10 December 2018 at ARTIANA’s South Asian Art online auction. This important work is part of the seminal ‘The Lost Continent’ Series exhibited at The Arts House in Singapore and at the prestigious Victoria and Albert Museum in London. 

At the last years of his creativity, MF Husain, age 95 was India’s best known painter. During his long prolific career as an artist, he was witness as history unfolds; from the great wars being fought, through genocides and holocaust, the partition and the unfurling of his nation from the British Raj to modern India. He witnessed deprivation, violence and rapid deterioration of human values across the world. In pursuing the theme, he dedicated his art to express the great loss he called, “The Lost Continent” which he made into a 21-part series chronicling his thoughts about lost human values.

In the painting where a magician dangles the fortune bird in a cage, “the bird is surrounded by a mosaic of riotous colour. The bird is held by the stark blue hands of a magician, who is covered in a white cloth and slowly considering his next move. The composition lures viewers into a terrain where play and uncertainty coexist.”1 The title suggests a magician dangling the bird in a cage, just like in the popular magic trick; but behind the act is the magician knowing the true nature of the trick, concealed by the sleight of hand. Concurrently referencing Mahabharata, the blue hands signify Lord Krishna as he oversee the fate of the world. Starting from the game of dice, a key incident in the great epic, deceit had been a powerful driving force that ultimately led to the cosmic war from which the order of the universe was achieved. He orchestrated the war and change the whole course of the epic in ways more than one. Despite knowing the outcome, Lord Krishna let the events unfold and ensured that everyone answers to the laws of karma. Through the act of deception, he restore dharma into the world.

The immense narrative and pivotal personas that Husain picked from the epics convey deep meaning more than the explicit imagery. His symbolic images are introduced naturally in continual juxtaposition and serves as the foundation of his work. Husain used strong even coarse lines of Jain miniature painting to express energy and movement and sharp colors in basic simple design within strong broad border as influenced by the Basholi period. The demotic stylistics, the use of symbol, folk elements, and vibrant colors have come to characterize Husain’s signature style.

Text Reference:  Hwee Koon, MF Husain: The Lost Continent

Auction Catalogue – South Asian Art ‘Classical, Modern and Contemporary – December 6-10, 2018

ARTIANA – Highlights – Lot 41 – Classical, Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art – Online Auction – No Buyer’s Premium

Sakti Burman – ‘Musicians Playing for Krishna’ – 2015 – Oil on canvas – 63.8 x 51.2 in. (162 x 130 cm.) – Lot 41

ARTIANA’s upcoming auction on December 6-10, 2018 features an important painting of Sakti Burman – ‘Musicians Playing for Krishna’. Painted in 2015, the notable work showcase Burman’s exceptional technique and whimsical ethos. 

Sakti Burman’s artistic vocabulary spawned from a mutually replenishing relay between two levels of mythological narrative. Much like his influences from both India and France, he organizes the narratives of his work from grand mythologies of the world with its vibrant iconography and from personal myth. He draws instinctively from varied religious traditions and folklores as much as he borrows from his everyday encounters. His frames are graced by families and friends often seen accompanying gods, nymphs, heroes and celestial emissaries into ethereal fantasy and reverie.

Sakti’s fascination with demotic imageries is apparent in the current lot. Employing the Kalighat ethos, he humanized Lord Krishna in the picture. Here, he presented the god as a child dancing with the cow as his mount. Lord Krishna as dancer and flautist is a recurrent object of painterly devotion for Burman. To one side stand a human father carrying his child and on the other side is a flautist. Seated below is an accordion player. Both musicians playing music to Krishna’s dancing and blurring the boundaries between the world of mortals and gods. The picture also includes Sakti’s recurring characters like harlequin and other mythical creatures joining in a blissful coexistence. Sakti conceives paradoxical imagery depicting familial relationships, celestial and terrestrial figures of dreams and perceived reality cohesively tying them in a powerful narrative.

“Child and Supreme God, serenader of women and killer demons, the divine flautist is often at the centre of a dance of other figures from Burman’s ongoing fantasia: sometimes, the peacock; at other times, a chorus of adolescents; on occasion, a centaur-like figure who prances yet remains melancholy, keeps the beat of the dance yet retains the detachment of the observer. Perhaps that centaur-like figure is, once again, the artist as chronicler and archivist of human dispositions, marking the rhythm of point and counterpoint.” (Ranjit Hoskote, Sakti Burman: In The Presence Of Another Sky, Art Musings, India, pg. 245)

Auction Catalogue – South Asian Art ‘Classical, Modern and Contemporary’ – December 6-10, 2018

ARTIANA announces Online Auction of Classical, Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art – No Buyer’s Premium – 6-10 December 2018

Browse the auction at www.artiana.com

Why ARTIANA Fine Art Finance Service is Perfect for Collectors of Indian Art

Published on September 18, 2018 (widewalls.ch), by Angie Kordic

The online auction house ARTIANA, a well-known platform based in Dubai, will now expand its activities and offer a one-of-a-kind service on the market right now – their Fine Art Finance service.

Announced just ahead of their November 2018 sale of South Asian art, it is an art finance advisory division that will specialize in financing solution to both buyers in their auctions and those who can borrow against blue-chip Indian artworks. By financing their purchases at Artiana auctions, clients can take advantage of opportunity buys and schedule a delayed or installment payment on their acquisitions based on their cash flows. By leveraging existing artworks, our clients optimize the use and enjoyment of their collection, while unlocking equity and allowing further portfolio diversification.

We talk to ARTIANA’s founder Lavesh Jagasia about the importance of such service being available within the field of Indian art and its market, as well as what it could mean for all sides of the sales.

The ARTIANA Fine Art Finance

Widewalls: What brought the creation of the ARTIANA Fine Art Finance on? How did it come to be?

Lavesh Jagasia: ARTIANA Fine Art Finance will assist us in increasing our clients and broadening the collector base of Indian art. Being a part of the Indian art sphere for the last 3 decades, I have experienced the effects that lack of liquidity has on this market just as it does on any other asset class. There are many times that works are sold in auctions for attractive prices, and end buyers are unable to take advantage of these situations as they would have not planned such purchases. With other collectors already holding significant portions of their net-worth in Indian art and unable to sell it quickly or leverage it when required, it limits their investments in this sphere due to the illiquid nature of this asset class.

By introducing our FlexiPay ‘Bid Now Pay Later’ facility in our auctions and offering bespoke finance solutions for blue-chip Indian art, we will address these issues resulting in deeper penetration of the market.

Widewalls: How does the service you’d be providing differ between the buyers and those who borrow against blue-chip Indian artworks?

LJ: The buyers on the ARTIANA auction platform have multiple benefits as compared to those offering external art assets as collateral. All items offered in our auctions are eligible for deferred or installment payments under our FlexiPay ‘Bid Now Pay Later’ scheme as long as the clients have been pre-approved for this facility. ARTIANA buyers have access to a higher Loan-To-Value (LTV) ratio of up to 80% of our lower estimate value as compared with up to 60% of our appraised value of all external art assets. The arrangement fee of 2% of the advance amount is also waived from them.

Charges for evaluation, storage and the conservator’s inspection report are currently complimentary for all clients, but maybe applicable to external clients in the future.

Widewalls: What is the process like for those who wish to approach ARTIANA in order to use this service? What can they expect and what is expected of them?

LJ: For prospective bidders in our auctions, the process is quite simple. All they need to do is select between the deferred or installment payments offered in our ‘Bid Now Pay Later’ plans, agree to the Terms and Conditions thereof and get a pre-approval prior to the commencement of the auction, confirming their eligibility for this facility. If their bids are successful, then they can then choose to either pay as usual or opt for their pre-approved FlexiPay facility.

The clients who want to propose external art assets as collateral, will have to first send us the image and details of the artworks. After our preliminary requirements of the artwork, such as artist and ownership are met, then an appraisal and condition check will be carried out, subsequent to which, the evaluation, LTV and terms are discussed with them ahead of the next steps.

In both cases, the artworks are stored in our art storage facility till all amounts due against them are cleared.

Making an Impact on the Indian Art Market

Widewalls: Why Indian art? Is it exclusively Indian art?

LJ: Yes, currently we are offering this facility only on blue-chip Indian artworks. This is a market that we have in-depth knowledge of, and is our core area of focus even in our auctions. Our expertise in this domain enables us to effectively manage the risks, and have quick turnaround times in structuring bespoke solutions for our clients.

Widewalls: The ARTIANA Fine Art Finance is the first service/product of its kind out there. What are the advantages you offer, as a company already in the bespoke business, compared to other sources of financing?

LJ: That is correct, currently there is no service/product available that offers specialized financing solutions for Indian art. Our advances offer flexibility and a variable term. Unlocking equity and receiving liquidity without cumbersome documentation and credit approval process. There is no personal liability, the collateralized artworks are the sole guarantee towards the advance (non-recourse).

Widewalls: How do you see this service having an impact on the art market and the way business is being done in sales?

LJ: The availability of flexible payments in our auctions will allow buyers to make purchases and plan their payments, no longer having to wait till the entire amount is available before placing a bid or making an opportunity purchase when a work is going for an attractive price at auction.

With the clients who will use this service for external art assets, they could use this facility to unlock equity and diversify their collection, for short-term funding and bridge finance to acquire works while awaiting sale transactions on their existing ones.

The availability of liquidity against only certain blue-chip artworks will also segregate the market identifying investment-grade art from the rest.

All of this will positively impact the Indian art market and increase overall sales of the artworks that qualify for this service.

Dubai-based auction platform will now provide loan against blue-chip Indian art work

Published on September 16, 2018 (moneycontrol.com), by Tasmayee Laha Roy

Artiana will consider individual artworks and collections of blue chip Indian fine art as collateral. Artworks must be freely marketable and produced by prominent artists with an existing track record in the secondary market.

All the exquisite Indian art work that adorns your walls can now get you a loan.

Dubai-based online art auction platform, Artiana has started a one-of-its-kind service -Artiana Fine Art Finance. Leveraging upon the strength of the auction house platform, Artiana is all set to provide financing solutions that cater to both buyers in auctions as well as others who can borrow against blue-chip Indian artworks.

While there are platforms like Levart, Sotheby’s Financial Services and others that provide loan against artwork what is special about Artiana is their services are dedicated towards blue-chip Indian artwork.

Clients having artwork that qualifies as collateral for this facility and can arrange the physical delivery of these pieces to Artiana’s storage facility in Dubai, can use this service. Interestingly, the equity released against the artwork can be used for any purpose and there are no restrictions on the deployment of these funds.

What exactly does Artiana Fine Art Service do? They provide finance solutions to consignors and buyers at our auctions and arrange advances secured against Indian fine art at competitive interest rates. “Our bespoke finance solutions provide financing for fresh acquisitions or existing collections,” said Lavesh Jagasia, Founder of Artiana.

Art work has been an investment option for a lot of people for years now but unlike other commodities like gold or real estate art is not easy to sell. At least not as quickly as other investment options. This is the gap Artiana wants to bridge.

“There are times that works are sold in auctions for attractive prices, and end buyers are unable to take advantage of these situations as they would have not planned such purchases. With other collectors already holding significant portions of their net-worth in Indian art, and unable to sell it quickly or leverage it when required limiting their investments in this sphere due to the illiquid nature of this asset class,” Jagasia said.

With bespoke finance solutions for blue-chip Indian art, Artiana wants to address these in the art market.

As for the amount of finance provided, while there is no upper limit the minimum advance size is $50,000 which could be against one work or a collection of works.

But what Loan-To-Value (LTV) does Artiana Fine Art Finance offer against the artworks? “We will typically advance up to 80 percent of the lower estimate value of artworks purchased at our auctions or up to 60 percent of the appraised value of the proposed external art collateral,” Jagasia said.

Explaining why the company came up with financial solutions against blue-chip Indian artwork only, Jagasia said, “We currently focus on Indian art in our auctions, hence to be able to accurately estimate and guide our clients and financiers we prefer to stay within this domain. Secondly, there is no other such product/service available for Indian art making the facility a welcome addition to the Indian art sphere having a pent-up demand.”

As for the kind of artwork that can be used for availing the service, Artiana will consider individual artworks and collections of blue-chip Indian fine art as collateral. Artworks must be freely marketable and produced by prominent artists with an existing track record in the secondary market.

The artworks are evaluated by both Artiana and also independently inspected by a conservator.

For securing the transactions throughout the term that the artworks are held as collateral they will be insured at double of the advance amount, to cover the full value of the art asset. The insurance covers the items right from the time of collection, during storage until the final handover.

As for Artiana’s interest in the lending process, Artiana Fine Art Finance will charge an arrangement fee of 2 percent of the advance amounts arranged against external art assets, this fee is waived for finance arranged against purchases made in their auctions. Depending on the value, tenor and terms of the advance the charges are calculated at typically 15 percent per annum payable quarterly in advance for fixed maturity payments, and at a flat rate of 10 percent per annum for monthly installment payments.