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“I think a person should only buy what appeals to their eye and gives them joy. After all one has to live with it and look at it day in and day out.” – says Apurva Jasraj, passionate collector in our conversation on the Art of Collecting.
Apurva Jasraj, an avid art collector and friend to TheCurators, has been steadily growing his collection over the last 2 decades. Managing Director of a successful Freight Forwarding firm, Apurva has been in the industry for over 38 years.
Apart from their passion for collecting, Apurva and his wife are also passionate food enthusiasts. Their countless travels and experiences have made them adept at appreciating all forms of Art, Music and Food.
Having spent a lot of time at home due to the current pandemic, Apurva who has a keen eye for art has grown his collection with timeless pieces. Here he offers some insights into his art journey.
TheCurators: Your collection includes contemporary Indian art. When did you start collecting and what was the reason?
Apurva Jasraj: In the mid-eighties I used to visit Samovar the erstwhile restaurant at Jehangir art gallery and stroll around the galleries whenever I had time to spare. I guess that is when I started developing an interest in art. So basically, my passion for food led to a passion for art. But the more you view art, it definitely grows on you.
TheCurators: What was your first artwork? Do you recall how much you paid?
Apurva Jasraj: The first art work I purchased was probably from Jehangir itself. It was a work by Vishnu Sonawane…. from his head’s series. I don’t recollect how much I paid but must have been a very modest sum as that was all I could afford those days. I still like the work though – a worthy first buy.
TheCurators: How do you plan your collection? Is it a planned approach or an impulsive one?
Apurva Jasraj: Whenever I have some funds that I can spare I like to pick up art. It’s been that way for a while, and over time that’s resulted in a collection. So, although it’s not planned that way; it does end up being about once a year. Recently for my 60th I gifted myself a really nice work by artist Paresh Maity.
TheCurators: How important is it for artworks in your collection to interplay with each other? Is there a theme?
Apurva Jasraj: Although I do not look for a binding factor in the artworks that I collect, by a strange coincidence the figurative ones all have female characters. But that is certainly not thought out – perhaps it was sub-conscious. Having said that if young collectors have a vision of what their final collection for a space could be, then a theme, or works of a particular style say modern or contemporary may work.
TheCurators: What should a young collector look for while acquiring a work?
Apurva Jasraj: I think a person should only buy what appeals to their eye and gives them joy. After all one has to live with it and look at it day in and day out. Yes, you may like a particular work more over time, but there has to be an instant connection to begin with. Do not chase trends, chase your instinct.
TheCurators: How important in a guiding relationship with a gallery or an art advisor in the process?
Apurva Jasraj: I have made several wrong decisions and purchased many works that I regret spending my limited resources on. A good and trusted art advisor would have been a great help; rather than having to learn by trial and error as I did. So definitely having someone guide your selection process, especially with so many available options – is a necessity today.
TheCurators: What is your calling: Passion, Prestige or Profit?
Apurva Jasraj: With the kind of budget I have, profit can hardly be a motive or decision driver. So no, I am not an investor. Its only passion and the sheer joy of being surrounded by beautiful art that drives my decisions. Prestige is a by-product.
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