MUMBAI: A yr in the past, famend artist Ravindra Pabrekar, after discovering an alleged fraud being dedicated relating to his work, approached the Matunga police to register an FIR. Regardless of senior police officers assuring him of immediate motion, nothing was ever accomplished. Pabrekar has now approached the Maharashtra human rights fee towards the police inaction.
On August 11 final yr, the 62-year-old summary painter submitted a written criticism to the police, detailing how an internet site known as ‘World Artwork Hub’ was promoting work utilizing his identify. A few of the work on show had been poor copies of his works, which had been being bought for a fraction of the value his personal work commanded, whereas others weren’t his works in any respect.
“I used to be casually googling my identify to have a look at a few of my earlier displays once I got here throughout this web site final July,” he mentioned. “I discovered two or three pictures of my unique work together with pictures of two or three different work that weren’t mine, which additionally had been put up on the market in my identify.”
Pabrekar then requested a buddy to buy one in every of “his” work, which was being bought for ₹15,000. “My buddy obtained the portray from Ahmedabad in two weeks,” he mentioned. “There was no Certificates of Authenticity and the artist’s identify talked about behind the portray was Ahmad Miqdad.”
On doing a web-based search with Pabrekar’s identify, the faux work are among the many high outcomes. The meagre worth tags—his originals promote for a minimum of 4 to 5 instances the quantity—have enormously affected his model worth and resulted in large losses for him, he mentioned.
After a number of journeys to the police station proved futile for Pabrekar, he determined to method the upper authorities. He first met the then DCP of Zone 4, Dr Pravin Mundhe, who was transferred quickly after. “I then met Satyanarayan Choudhary, joint commissioner of police, legislation and order, by means of a retired policeman I do know,” he mentioned. “He redirected me to the brand new DCP, Prashant Kadam. Each time the officers would meet me warmly, assuring me of their help however would retract in subsequent conferences, saying my case couldn’t be registered.”
What was worse was that after the inaction, when Pabrekar filed an RTI question relating to the standing of his criticism, he bought a reply that there was no data on the subject obtainable with the Matunga police. “Later, they known as Ravindra Mardiya, the proprietor of the web site,” he mentioned. “He gave them a written response, saying that I used to be asking for very excessive compensation, which he couldn’t pay. After this, the police mentioned this was now a civil case and I ought to method the courtroom. My proper to get an FIR registered has been denied by the very people who find themselves speculated to uphold it.”
When contacted, Mardiya mentioned the work had been a part of a 2013 occasion during which he had promoted Pabrekar. “Our net developer tagged some work by one other artist, Ahmad Miqdad, below Pabrekar’s identify by mistake,” he claimed. “We’re able to compensate him for the distinction in pricing. There may be nothing malicious in our dealings.”
Pabrekar questioned why such an easy-to-rectify mistake was not corrected even after he bought in contact with Mardiya to query the low pricing and incorrect use of his identify. “This quantities to wilfully dishonest patrons,” he mentioned. “That is additionally a gross misuse of my identify. I did give him a couple of of my work for the exhibition he talked about however they had been to not be bought on the web site.”
Artwork seller and purchaser Premal Sanghvi mentioned that fakes and duplicates had been the bane of the artwork world throughout the globe. “Within the absence of legal guidelines to outline what constitutes an offence in such circumstances, artists stay a weak lot,” he mentioned. “It’s a sort of financial offence, because it curtails the incomes potential of an artist. But, most artists don’t get or generally select to not take authorized recourse in such conditions.” Sanghvi feels that issues have develop into a lot worse with the mushrooming of on-line ‘galleries’ which have a really medical categorisation of artwork.
Artwork critic Abhijit Tamhane identified that whereas a well-networked veteran like Pabrekar may pursue a authorized battle, the smaller, still-struggling artists had been essentially the most weak in such scams. “They typically face fraudulent practices of this type that normally go unreported,” he mentioned.
The human rights fee has scheduled the primary listening to on Pabrekar’s criticism on September 8.