Vanity Fair


Compiled by Nishita Jha

Working Girl

Let’s give Mallika Sherawat credit. She has talent at making much ado over nothing. This week, she played coy as tabloids fought over who first broke exclusive pictures of her night out in LA with hottie Antonio Banderas. The two supposedly spent the night “grinding”. A close friend of Sherawat’s confirmed that “Antonio was extremely attracted to the actress”. Hopefully Melanie Griffith, Banderas’ wife of 16 years, watched the tepid video of this dance of seduction — not only does he have the polite countenance of one forced to dance with a cousin, a whole PR team could fit between their swaying bodies.



Oberoi Has A New Friend

Things might finally be looking up for Vivek Oberoi — someone apart from his family is willing to publicly acknowledge their fondness for the actor. Post the Salman Khan debacle, Oberoi was largely friendless in the industry. That equation appears to be rapidly changing on the sets of Zilla Ghaziabad. Actor Sanjay Dutt has grown to like Oberoi so much that he has signed him for both his forthcoming projects — the feature film Sher and a television series called Super Fight League, where Oberoi will be the first celebrity guest. Here’s hoping this is not Dutt’s kind way of letting dear friend Salman and Oberoi settle their issues mano-amano in the ring.


Let This Be Over

We loved Virat Kohli’s chemistry with Genelia D’Souza in the recent wristwatch commercials. Upon careful analyses, it was probably because he plays the sort of emotionally unavailable yet hormonally charged frat boy we imagine him to be. However, Kohli is all set to lose this rakish coolth by signing a full feature film with Prabhu Deva, who is apparently highly impressed with the cricketer’s deft footwork. Is Kohli going to be romancing women in the Alps next, pullover casually thrown over shoulders? Can we be excused to the other room until this nightmare ends?


‘Artists are not a breath of fresh air, but a storm’

WHO V Sanjay Kumar was born in Karaikudi and grew up in Chennai. A businessman by training, he spent many years setting up small businesses in Mumbai. His debut novel Artist, Undone was released this year. He is currently the director of Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai.

V Sanjay Kumar, 52, Writer
V Sanjay Kumar, 52, Writer

What drew you into the art world?
Some colleagues gave me an MF Husain on my wedding. I took it to a gallery to find out its value. That was the first time I had set foot in a gallery. It was Jogen Chowdhury’s show. I ended up paying a large sum of money for my first painting. I was fascinated by the commerce. How do prices come about? Why do artists command such followings? There are no easy answers.

How does the market work?
The price I quoted in my book, 23 lakh, is an actual price for a painting. Prices get set over a period of time through accretion. There is a linear primary market where the rates begin. The secondary market moves on its own free will. No one can control it and the pricing is never logical. That is where the action happens. It’s a small, incestuous, well-to-do market with few artists, very few buyers, a lot of egos and personalities.

How have you portrayed this world in your bookArtist, Undone?
I wanted to show two things; the impact art can a have on a person and how people in their 40s are in a crisis. It’s about an outsider’s entry into this world and the journey they go through.

Do you give yourself the vantage point of an outsider?
I am an insider. It’s such a small market that there is no place to hide. I can’t call myself an outsider and take pot-shots at people on the inside. But the advantage of fiction is that I can claim to be talking about a character.

Are artists sexier than other people?
They are complex people with fewer inhibitions. They think differently from a lot of us who have very ordered lives. That is a point of fascination. But they are narcissistic and hedonistic and proud to be so. There is no modesty in the art world. They aren’t a breath of fresh air, but a storm.

What was it like writing and releasing a debut book?
I never understood why an artist, pre-launch, would be nervous. Now that I’ve written a book and it’s out in the open, I get it. It’s like standing in your underwear in public.

Aradhna Wal is a Sub-Editor with Tehelka.
[email protected]


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