From all the buzz surrounding non-fungible tokens (NFTs) at record auction in a world still reeling from the pandemic, the visual arts industry has seen many eventful lows and highs, during the year 2021. Continue its efforts to succeed in a hybrid format, those in the art world are now eagerly awaiting to survive in the new normal, and here we give you a look at everything that made 2021 the year it was. .
Record makers, record breakers
The art of Indian artist VS Gaitonde is familiar for making world records. And this year, too, a 1961 masterpiece by the late abstract artist set a world record when it was sold for ??39.98 crore ($ 5.5 million) at an auction by Saffronart this year. The Untitled oil on canvas also marked the highest price ever for an Indian artwork at auction worldwide.
Shortly after, Indo-Hungarian artist Amrita Sher-Gil’s 1938 work, In the Ladies’ Enclosure, won second place for the most expensive Indian artwork sold in the world. This marked another world record in the year, going for ??37.8 crore or (5.14 million USD) at auction. It is also Sher-Gil’s most cherished work of art.
The third time is the charm
For the third time, Hurun India Art List 2021 named UK-based Indian-born artist Anish Kapoor at the top of its list. The sculptor who made ??20.64 crore, by selling 65 works of art the previous year, secured its spot at number one. After him was the veteran Indian Modernist painter of the NCR Krishen Khanna, whose works sold for a total of ??9 crore, in second place in the list. And Delhi-based artist Rameshwar Broota took third place, in the same list, with just under ??9 crore for his work.
Love is in the trash
The mysterious British street artist Banksy never shies away from making the news. And this year, his work Love is in the Bin reappeared, three years after the painting was famously shredded in the Sotheby’s auction room in London. After selling for a record $ 25.4 million, her original avatar was called Girl With Balloon, and left viewers around the world stunned when he was driven to self-destruct with a shredder intentionally. placed during the auction, which stopped halfway, and so came the rebirth of this work!
For the love of Frida Kahlo
In 2021, the enigmatic self-portrait of the late Mexican painter Frida Kahlo titled Diego y yo (which translates to Diego and me) sold for $ 34.9 million. He reappeared at a post-1990 auction, shattering Kahlo’s previous record of $ 8 million. The painting also set a world record for a Latin American work of art, as the artist took the crown from the last record holder, who was her husband, Diego Rivera. Interestingly, this painting also features Diego.
NFT scores big
Any discussion of 2021 is incomplete without a mention of the NFT art. The year started off with a bang, as the sale of artist Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days raised $ 69 million, becoming a turning point for digital artists around the world and even in India. This “first pure digital artwork based on NFT” was sold at Christie’s and set a new world record for any digital artwork.
In India, a first for an Indian actor, Vishal Malhotra sold an NFT for $ 5,500, and Indian celebrities including actors Amitabh Bachchan, Sunny Leone, Salman Khan, Kamal Haasan, and fashion designer Raghavendra Rathore and the Cricketer Rishabh Pant have announced their NFTs. . Young digital creators in India have also started exploiting NFT art and selling wholesale. Take, for example, Big B’s coveted Madhushala NFT collection of autographed poems and posters, which earned a ??7 crore deal when it went under the hammer in November.
Vandalism, an expression
Earlier this year, a public statue erected in London – in honor of 18th century feminist philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft – sparked backlash and degraded with orange graffiti paint, even after several attempts to save the statue by covering it. Sculpted by British artist Maggi Hambling, it depicts a stripped Wollstonecraft, presented as the mother of feminism.
The souls we have lost
Art curator, critic and popular figure in the Indian cultural circuit, Alka Raghuvanshi died at the age of 60 in May this year. She left a lot of mourning and memories of her panache for art and textiles. The Indian art world has also lost artist Yogesh Rawal, 67, who succumbed to Covid-19 in a hospital in Gurugram. Goan artist and Padma Bhushan award recipient Laxman Pai, 95, also died in March, leaving a void in Goan art.
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