The 84-year-old painter, who died of heart ailment in Mumbai on Thursday, was the first Indian artist to have set a benchmark when his work Mahisasura, a rendering of the buffalo-demon of Hindu mythology, was sold for $1.58 million at a Christie’ auction in 2005. It was the first time a modern Indian painting crossed the million-dollar mark.
“From his early images of trussed bulls, to the rickshaw puller, to the diagonal series to his depictions of Kali and Mahisasaura, all will constantly remain in the visual memory of Indian art,” Osians founder Neville Tuli said. Born in Gujarat and based in Mumbai, Mehta began his career with the J J School of Art and was associated with the Progressive Artists group comprising S H Raza, F N Souza and M F Husain among others. Mehta and associates Krishen Khanna, Akbar Padamsee and Ram Kumar was inspired by European masters and interpreted Indian themes.
India’s First Million Dollar Artist Dead (MyDigitalFC.com)