Curatorial Note

26th Feb 2011 : BEWARE-BE-AWARE—of the art of sunil

Solo show by Sunil Das

Sunil has received more than 2000 print out & photographs of fake works which came to him for authentication. In a particular case a fake work came for authentication to the artist whilst the original was with the artist in his studio. Thus, Sunil time and again raised his voice against this burgeoning practice, which would stop if art collectors are more aware of the artist’s works.

Sunil says, his efforts feel demeaned to do a good drawing, and people who have collected his works over a number of years would be very upset to see bad little works here and there. He feels offended and angry & often explodes with rage, when he sees bad fakes where perhaps the neck is out of proportion, the mouth body & the hair is wrong and the face has several errors.

‘Gallery Kolkata’ has been showing the best of Modern & Contemporary art to the art lovers of Kolkata. We further take the initiative to show a body of original works of the artist in his popular styles alongside few photographs and printouts of the fake works received by the artist to bring awareness. This is the 1st time probably in the history of the art line that some gallery has taken the initiative to bring forth such nuisances of the art line. We hope this would make buyers, art lovers and also academicians more aware to recognize the genuine works by the artist,Sunil Das.

Installation View Of The Show

BEWARE-BE-AWARE—of the art of sunil Solo show by Sunil Das

Art Work In The Show

BEWARE-BE-AWARE—of the art of sunil Solo show by Sunil Das They say that imitation is the best form of flattery, while this may hold true in some situations, this adage is blasphemous in the art circles. Throughout history, whenever an artist through his perseverance and talent has made a name for himself, there have been others lurking in the shadows waiting to piggy-back on his success and make a quick buck through rip-offs. The monster of fake art has constantly raised its ugly head to plague contemporary Indian art. Arguably, the most faked artists in history are: Giorgio de Chirico ,Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot , Salvador Dalí ,Honoré Daumier Vincent van Gogh, Kazimir Malevich, Amedeo Modigliani, Frederic Remington,Auguste Rodin,Maurice Utrillo . Back home it begins with the famed Jamini Roys ,Tagores & other Bengal School artists to the country’s most celebrated artists both modern & contemporary who have also been victims of sophisticated counterfeiters. Most often, not only are the paintings copied, even artist signatures and certificate of authentications were being forged. The problem of fake art is not new in the global art world, but in India this cancer has spread beyond our imagination. One prominent ‘victim’ was none other than the eminent artist from Bengal, Sunil Das (b1939). Sunil who has made a name both in India and internationally rose to fame with his famed horses, bulls and his other creations, rather early in life. He found patrons and buyers for his works whilst still in college .This popularity also came with the bane of Sunil’s works having been most vastly faked and copied by young artists, sometimes under their personal names; works left unsignatured or in hideous situations , signatured and passed off as originals to unsuspecting buyers. Sunil has received more than 2000 print out & photographs of fake works which came to him for authentication. In a particular case a fake work came for authentication to the artist whilst the original was with the artist in his studio. Thus, Sunil time and again raised his voice against this burgeoning practice, which would stop if art collectors are more aware of the artist’s works. Sunil says, his efforts feel demeaned to do a good drawing, and people who have collected his works over a number of years would be very upset to see bad little works here and there. He feels offended and angry & often explodes with rage, when he sees bad fakes where perhaps the neck is out of proportion, the mouth body & the hair is wrong and the face has several errors. ‘Gallery Kolkata’ takes the initiative to show a body of original works of the artist in his popular styles alongside few photographs and printouts of the fake works received by the artist to bring awareness. In a society that accepts fake fur and costume jewelry, what\'s wrong with fake art?<.i> These ugly fakes often outnumber the genuine works by the artist, and people’s opinions – even academic opinions – are increasingly based on fraudulent paintings. Also the concern that the trade in fake art may undermine public taste and the tradition of artworks as unique objects. Moreover, it’s not just the buyers who’re being bilked. It’s you and me, and the Indian art legacy! Meghna Agarwala February 20, 2011 References from leading National & International Magazines & web based art articles on such issues

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