Art NOW Showcases Works of 35 Artistsby Opinion Express October 6, 2018 0 comments
In one of the biggest art exhibitions in India involving 35 young and promising artists, Art NOW presents unique pieces of art from the storytellers.
No matter what the subject is — a barn at twilight, an unpaved road winding into the distance, fireflies in the night sky, a newborn life, life lived in the countryside, or even a horse gazing up the hill at the dawn — it all stirs romantic images of deep nights and bedtime stories.
The Art NOW exhibition at the Art Alive Gallery curated by Sunaina Anand, portrays current art practices and how they have evolved over the last few years, and that is the only binding factor among the works on display. Highlighting the signature style of each of the 35 artists, the show brings together a range of topics — cityscapes and urban civilisations, historical transitions, growing vulnerability of the environment, livelihood, motherhood — that plague the minds of young artists.
While ‘Now’ signifies the modern day and media currently used, Anand tells us about another aspect that is new in the third edition of the exhibition — photography. She says, “We have been talking about various kind of arts, paintings, sculpture, engravings, still life, and historical art. We have looked at different elements concerning art but photography hasn’t been done. So why not photography from now?”
Anand believes that just like art and paintings reveal a perception of the artist who has painted it, photography also teaches not just to look beyond the imagination but also dive into the real world.
A few of the artists reveal what art means to them. Painter and sculptor Jagannath Panda believes that such shows are very relevant as they are a selection of energies of best in contemporary art. As Panda’s work is titled as Gaze, he explains how the painting is a metaphor for a keen eye of looking at ecology, human behaviour and relationship between nature and mankind. “The way we look at nature, the nature is also constantly looking at us. My work has layers of references. Coming from the mountain, it is keenly looking at the ecological changes happening due to excessive misuse of nature in the plains.”
Artist Krishen Khanna, who has been a witness to the Partition of India, brings two new works from his Band Wala series. His works capture moments in history, much like photographs, but is a different technique. Through the series, his aim is to tell the story of transition that took place since Partition. The series shows two band walas, one is titled Jaggi ji, a pre-Partition figure, and Practicing Solo, which is the current band wala.
The next in line is artist Pooja Iranna, who grapples with the urban society as she makes a set of five sculptures titled Through Blocks using cement and staple pins. She talks about her work that “revolves around cityscapes and the spaces that we live in. For the very first time, I have used staple pins and cement, that come together to form blocks, which is also what we see in the city.”
One of the few works about protection and equality of life is from artist Jayasri Burman whose work is a representation of harmony that exists in nature and of life that resides in different forms. Her 3D painting, Dhitri shows a woman and a tiger in the same frame. She explains, “This right of life is equal to all beings and must be protected at all costs. The lady in my work represents Shakti that is protecting the girl child. This is also my message to the world as an artist that we must take care of our girls and forms that we see as ‘weak’ links in our set up.” She believes that as women they need to be very strong like a tigress, and stand up for their rights.
Artist Manu Parekh is highly fascinated by the city of Varanasi as he believes the place holds great “magic.” He tells us about his work Moon in the landscape, where he “explores the different facets that lead to the build up of its identity as city of lights — the nature’s play of light on its waters and skies; and the human-driven shringar(decoration) in its temples as an ode to the gods.” He talks about yet another facet of the city which is it’s rich heritage of textiles that continues to inspire. And “the Islamic influence on textiles is very fascinating for me. The deftness and sensitivity that the Muslim weavers employ to share their stories on is unparalleled.”
While artist Madhvi Parekh focuses on landscapes that bring to life the simplicity of Indian villages; artist Paresh Maity’s work pays a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi’s Dandi March and also commemorates his 150th birth anniversary. Madhvi explains while giving an example of the current intolerant cynicism about how should clashes be dealt with. “It is a representation of harmony that exists between people of different backgrounds and religions, of tolerance towards each other’s beliefs and roles in the society. The joys of simplicity are unparalleled and pure,” She says. Even the fishes in her painting titled The River in my Village are in conversation with each other.
Maity, who has been particularly impressed by the Dandi March incident of 1930, narrates how he has “used mixed media to create texture similar to salt as it was an important movement to send a message to the British government. I wanted to bring that alive.”
While photography was a new addition, photographer and realist, G Anjaneyulu’s Untitled work is themed around cows and their inimitable composure even while they sit calm and silent. All the while they are in a restless motion, emotion, movement and chaos.
Writer: Chahak Mittal
Courtesy: The Pioneer