Prinseps to Auction Reclusive Genius Gobardhan Ash’s Pieces as NFT



The work of reclusive genius Gobardhan Ash, one of India’s finest artists, is making its way into the NFT space. Prinseps auction house will host the Gobardhan Ash Live Auction, offering 35 rare works on paper from the family estate alongside 35 accompanying NFTs.

Ash started his lifelong love affair with art when he was just ten years old. He painted his first portrait of an Indian deity using a self-made goat-hair paintbrush. Then, he carved a niche for himself as an individualistic artist who fearlessly explored diverse artistic styles and techniques.

Moreover, this auction is attracting collectors worldwide because this is the first time an Indian Auction house is entering the world of NFTs. So mark your calendars as early as now because bidding will be on January 7 at exactly 7 PM.

Prinseps, the first Indian Auction House to host an NFT Auction, is offering the pieces of Indian Artist Gobardhan Ash as NFTs. Credit: Artnet

Why Gobardhan Ash’s Artworks and NFTs Fit Well

The auction will offer each of Ash’s physical works on paper, immediately followed by its accompanying digital versions offered as NFTs.

The Gobardhan Ash Auction re-creates the second exhibition of the Progressive Artists’ Group and Calcutta Group way back in 1950. There, Gobardhan Ash presented a series of gouache works alongside the works of other notable artists like F.N. Souza, M.F. Husain and S.H. Raza. So Ash’s bright and eclectic images for the exhibition are making a comeback in the upcoming NFT Auction.

Ash’s handiwork from the 1950s earned him the moniker “The Quiet Master Artist.” For example, his 1948 Mother and Son painting showcase his impeccable technique and detailed character studies.

So how will NFTs fit in such classic pieces?  Like how Ash experimented on portraying characteristics and turning them into art, digital artists did the same. NFT Collections, particularly avatars, often depict personality traits and graphical representations. So in a way, NFTs continue Ash’s artistic experimentation into the modern age.

All 35 of the works on paper carry an estimate of $400 – $20,000. Meanwhile, NFTs are estimated at $130 – $320 offering accessible prices to newer collectors exploring the NFT market for the first time.

Let’s Hear It from the Organizers

Speaking about the upcoming auction, Prinseps curator Indrajit Chatterjee said, “Ash’s paintings struck me as bearing a resemblance to the crypto punks movement, but from seven decades earlier. We are delighted to be presenting what we see today as an avatar, painted in Ash’s unique and primitive watercolors more than 70 years ago. These works will also represent the first NFTs offered on the market by an Indian auction house.”

Meanwhile, India’s overall crypto and NFT climate took a hit last month. The Indian government is all set to introduce a new Crypto Bill proposing a ban on all “private cryptocurrencies” in Parliament during its ongoing winter session.

“This is a risky area and not in a complete regulatory framework,” the Minister was quoted by The Indian Express.

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