Photo: YouTube aslamsheikhartist
Never in the history of Mumbai has a mere art exhibition evinced such interest from so many of the families which control its economic destiny.The guests who have confirmed their presence at the preview of Aslam Shaikh’s works are the kind that Warren Buffet and Bill Gates—who were recently in the country to solicit charity from its billionaires—could only dream of.
With everyone from Noel Tata, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Mukesh Ambani, Adi Godrej and Anand Mahindra to Deepak Parekh, Shashi Ruia, Sajjan Jindal, Vijay Mallya, Venugopal Dhoot, Ajay Piramal and BK Goenka expected, it’s a gathering that promises to eclipse anything the city has seen in decades.
While the 43-year-old has already taken the West by storm with the “kinetic energy of his bold strokes, daring impasto work and sinuous figures,” the London-based Shaikh is relatively unknown in Mumbai. But that’s set to change dramatically and irrevocably tonight. This elaborate introduction to Mumbai’s richest and most powerful has been orchestrated by former socialite Nina Pillai, who has turned curator.
Apparently Nina first met Aslam four years ago in Dubai, where he had painted a portrait of her. After she saw his other works, so convinced was she that he was a master waiting to be discovered, Nina took it upon herself to introduce his talent to India.
The theme he has chosen to showcase in Mumbai is Celestial Horses, strikingly reminiscent of the motif almost owned by late maestro MF Husain. Comparisons may be unfair, even odious, but the verdict will be delivered tonight at the rooftop of a five star hotel in Nariman Point.
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