Ram Kumar gets a visit to his home from the Business Standard. The 86-year-old artist doesn’t own much of the work of his Progressive peers–Husain, Raza and Souza. It never occurred to him to buy their works:
Hanging around the walls of this room are four canvases — there’s one of Kumar’s own paintings from the 1960s; next to it hangs one by Raza, a close friend whom he followed to Paris in 1949 to learn art; then Gaitonde, and lastly, a Husain, a mid-sized work from the “Blue Head” series. Incredibly, Kumar says that these are the only three paintings, other than his own, that he possesses. But did he never buy any of the works of his artist friends? No, he says, one never considered buying their works then; these days, they are just too expensive to afford. […] While “the urge to paint has not gone,” Kumar says, with age has gone the desire is to sell or exhibit. As for his show last month at the Lalit Kala Akademi organised by Vadehra Art Gallery, “Sonia [Vadehra] was very keen that we have a big exhibition… one of the last exhibitions, ho…ho” he chuckles. But he’s less forgiving of buyers who come seeking him out at home to buy works directly from him. A few have come in and even tried to bargain saying, “I will buy four, five…[but] I don’t want to negotiate with anyone on prices,” Kumar says, the residue of distaste still evident in his voice.
In His Own Quiet World (Business Standard)