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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- Art Market Hedge Trends – artmarketblog.com (artmarketblog.com)
- Italian recluse Pordenone Montanari, aged 73, hailed as a genius of art (guardian.co.uk)
- Art Investment: The Cold Hard Truth pt. 1 – artmarketblog.com (artmarketblog.com)