MAQBOOL FIDA HUSAIN
1913 - 2011
UNTITLED (MERA NAAM JOKER)
Pastel on paper
10 ⅞ x 9⅛ in. (27.7 x 23.4 cm.)
Framed: 18 x 15 ¾ in. (45.7 x 40 cm.)
Signed in Urdu and Devanagari lower right
The paper has a slight yellow tint due to age and 3 pinhole sized spots of accretion in the lower left hand corner. There is a thin vertical crease in the upper right section of the paper, only visible upon very close inspection.This work is in overall good condition.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Private Russian Collection
Sotheby's New York, 18 March 2015, lot 1303
Mera Naam Joker is a 1970s Bollywood movie starring Raj Kapoor. The film is based on a clown who must entertain his audience even at the cost of his own distresses.
Raj Kapoor, known to be the greatest showman of Indian cinema, gained international fame, most importantly in the then Soviet Union. In the Nehruvian 1950s, Communist Russia and Japan were considered role models for a new nation in the making, with the former being a particular favorite of Nehru. Prevailing geopolitical circumstances often define the fate of cultural imports which is how Bollywood first made it to Russia. The fan reception Kapoor received in the Soviet at the time has often been compared to the frenzy surrounding the Beatles a decade later.
This film was partly made with the participation of Russian actors and was even shot partially in Moscow. Instead of being released as a single film, the film was released in three parts. Each of the parts were box office successes in the history of both Indian and Soviet cinema at the time. The current lot originally came from a Private Russian collector who had been gifted this by Husain himself.