pordenone montanari art – all hype, no talent

19 September 2010 § 1 Comment

Pordenone Montanari

One again the ‘art’ of Pordenone Montanari’ has reared its ugly head. The Sunday Times this morning (and others?) have picked up on the PR machine ramblings of an Indian Venture Capitalist. Did we trust these city financial speculators when they caused the meltdown of the world’s banking systems? Do we trust them now? Do we believe them when they talk about art?

This once again extracted from my post on 18 August this year:

“Indian investor Arun Rangachari, chairman of venture capital firm DAR Capital, has purchased the rights to the entire life’s work of a reclusive Italian artist by the name of Montanari, who has lived in seclusion for the past 18 years. Rangachari is building up an art collection, of which the work of Montanari will play a significant part, with the intention of setting up an art fund in the future. Before selling any of the paintings, Rangachari plans to increase the value of Montanari’s work by holding exhibitions and building a foundation dedicated to the artist’s work.”

For the full story see my two previous posts on this particularly insidious piece of hype:

Pordenone Montanari – Genius or Senile Dauber?

Pordenone Montanari – Postscript

Just in case my view is not clear – that this artist has any talent is merely the PR work of a businessman – with no interest or knowledge of art – who is using his wealth to try and make a quick buck. There is no evidence whatsoever that the Mr Rangachari has ‘bought’ any paintings at all and even less that he has paid ‘seven figures’ for them. The Sunday Times should be ashamed in that repeating this rubbish they are giving this hyped-up story undeserved credence. As for the Italian institute in London that is showing them – whose advice did they listen to and what funding and/or ‘donation’ are they receiving to further peddle this rubbish upon us?

In case you still have any doubts, illustrated is another of his works of ‘genius’ – a strange mish-mash of barely distinguishable objects in a vaguely sub-cubist palette and style that might have been of passing interest in 1910, but not now thanks.

pordenone montanari – postscript

18 August 2010 § Leave a comment

I stumbled upon some more information regarding the rather dubious ‘discovery’ of Italian ‘genius’ Montanari – please see my post from 16 August entitled Pordenone Montenari – genius or senile dauber? I was checking out the artmarketblog of Nicholas Forrest when I read his post regarding some alternative art hedging ventures. Here is his summary dated 3 August 2010, which is itself based on an Art Newspaper article dated 6 July 2010:

Over in India, another innovative art investment project has been started by an Indian entrepreneur. Indian investor Arun Rangachari, chairman of venture capital firm DAR Capital, has purchased the rights to the entire life’s work of a reclusive Italian artist by the name of Montanari, who has lived in seclusion for the past 18 years. Rangachari is building up an art collection, of which the work of Montanari will play a significant part, with the intention of setting up an art fund in the future. Before selling any of the paintings, Rangachari plans to increase the value of Montanari’s work by holding exhibitions and building a foundation dedicated to the artist’s work. According to artnewspaper.com ‘His (Rangachari’s) first art investment consists of 40 paintings by the Italian artist Americo Montanari, with the option to buy many more……..When asked why his art fund would succeed when other ventures, including Indian-based funds, had recently failed he said: “Our entry level will be affordable, we’ll be focusing on artists who have not yet built a reputation and we will have no hidden costs, everything will be up front, so we’ll be quite different from everyone else.”

Apart from the artists first name (a mistake I assume) this is basically the same story ‘broken’ by the Observer on Sunday. Interestingly rather than the farcical assertion (Observer) that 500 paintings had been purchased for an assumed £5-10 million there seem to be just 40 ‘with options’.

His knowledge of art? This from the Art Newspaper: “I don’t know anything about art at the moment. I’ve just started learning,” said Rangachari whose other business interests range from media technology and commercial agriculture to adventure sports, Bollywood films and the theatrical rights to the Indian Premier League (ie showing cricket on large screens in public venues).

So here we have the real story. Let me summarise quite bluntly: a wealthy financial speculator, with no knowledge in art,  has bought a number of almost worthless paintings with the plan to hype them up into something of value, before selling them on to gullible investors aspart of an investment fund.

For my personal view on his future ‘art fund’ please arrange the following words in to a popular phrase: with a dont barge-pole it touch.

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