He was India's answer to Andy Warhol. A socialist, homosexual, figurative painter who mixed ordinary daily life with fantasy.
Now, two distinctive pieces by Bhupen Khakhar have surfaced from the dust and clutter of a Parnell basement.
They have lain forgotten since the 2001 death of artist Roy Dalgarno, who had rubbed shoulders with Khakhar half a century ago.
Hailed as India's first 'Pop' artist, Khakhar wowed the art world with early works that mashed deities from kitsch posters with street culture and graffiti.
Although the self-taught artist and former accountant died in 2003, aged 69, his art continued to hang in some of the world's top galleries and fetch six figures at international auction houses.
The estate of Dalgarno is selling the newly-discovered pieces at auction in Auckland next month.
Cordy's auctioneer Andrew Grigg described the two artworks, Red Elephant and Interior Of A Hindu House, as "interesting, raw, nuggety" works from early in Khakhar's career.
"These works are difficult to get hold of and are becoming increasingly popular," Mr Grigg said.
When Melbourne-born social realist artist Dalgarno moved in Indian art circles in the 1960s, Khakhar was just making a name for himself.
But, the Bombay-born painter's unique Pop Art style soon became revered on the world stage.
He was courted for major international exhibitions and even held a solo show at the most famous museum of modern art, the Pompidou Centre in Paris.
Today, his works are held by London's Tate Modern, Delhi's National Gallery of Modern Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and private collections.
The Dalgarno-owned artworks, each with a reserve of $8000, go under the hammer at Cordy's Auctioneers on October 6.
WHO IS BHUPEN KHAKHAR?
• A former accountant and self-taught painter, Bhupen Khakhar is hailed as India's father of Pop Art.
• He was inspired by French Post-Impressionist painter Henri Rousseau, English painter David Hockney, and Italian Renaissance style.
• Works often sell at auction for six figures. Oil on canvas, Waiting for Darshan went under the hammer at Christie's New York last year with an estimate of NZ$630,000 - NZ$950,000.
• Midnight's Children author Salman Rushdie was a close friend.