31 Jul 2018

Art News: Grazie Infinite by Shraddha Rathi in Bangalore

Grazie Infinite by Shraddha Rathi in Bangalore, Art Scene India

Intersections of Infinite Possibilities

Shraddha Rathi explores the concept of gratitude, an expressive emotion towards an appreciation of life and for tangible and intangible gifts, in her new suite of works. She creates a narrative which is rich in emotional content and universal in its reach. From personal notes to community messages, the expanse of storytelling weaves a rich tapestry of chronicles, patterns and motifs of human sentiments, moments and memories.

Adopting a multi-media approach, Rathi, a practicing artist for more than fifteen years now, presents photographs, installations, paintings and a video projection in this exhibition. With this series, she emerges from the confines of traditional bounds and expands her artistic and conceptual horizons to put forth a body of work that has meaningful associations on a personal front and has implications for a larger context. 
Grazie Infinite by Shraddha Rathi in Bangalore, Art Scene India

In a significant shift this year, she created a gratitude bench with engravings of phrases and personal messages of thankfulness and appreciation. This bench organically evolved into the present suite of works and forms the cornerstone for her current engagement. Coincidentally, earlier this year she sighted the benches in Central Park, New York with their plaques that read out messages of gratitude, love, celebration and nostalgia. 

Thus, innumerable stories that are intimate and personal, which celebrate the joy of living and memories of life and loved ones, and that effectively translate this personal form of gratitude into community efforts, have coalesced to materialise in the artworks for Rathi’s exhibition. Photographs of plaques, benches and the surrounding landscape from Central Park form the artwork. In addition, inscribed messages on wooden benches, swings and a see-saw, and a video projection mapping of gratitude notes that projects the text onto various surfaces, including the witness/participant, are on display. Contextualising and integrating the notion of gratitude and its universality to Bangalore’s public spaces, conceptual maps of parks are represented in the paintings. The minimalist mappings offer points of reference to local contexts and create possibilities of artistic interventions.
Grazie Infinite by Shraddha Rathi in Bangalore, Art Scene India

The theoretical premise behind ‘Grazie Infinite’ is two-fold, to reiterate and acknowledge positivity as an indispensable emotion and to extend this engagement via site specific projects to the public arena. Rathi’s practice with this shift towards conceptual art and a minimalist aesthetics lies at the intersections of infinite possibilities, employing mixed media narratives and interactive experiences, while situating them within and outside the frameworks of conventional art locations.

Nalini S Malaviya
Art Critic
Bangalore, July, 2018

All images are courtesy the artist

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2 Jul 2018

Art in Decor: Art for Open Spaces

Art need not be limited to interiors of homes and can also be displayed in the garden or terrace

When we think of art for our homes, we tend to restrict ourselves to conventional art forms such as paintings for the interiors, and often neglect exterior walls, terraces and other open spaces.  Canvas paintings may not be the best choice for areas that are exposed to weather conditions but there are several other options which can be explored for open spaces such as the terrace, garden and large balconies.  

These areas are also used for socializing and interacting with guests, especially when the mercury rises and warmer temperatures make the outdoors more attractive and appropriate for entertaining. Instead of bare spaces devoid of art, artefacts or accessories a well decorated area makes it more intimate and pleasant.

Art in Decor: Art for Open Spaces, Art Scene India

From traditional folk and tribal art to contemporary sculptures and installations, there are multiple options which are suitable for open spaces. Over the years, art from recycled material has also grown in popularity as a display piece in the open air.

As these artworks will be exposed to different weather conditions and will have to withstand fluctuating temperatures and rain for a prolonged period, it is important to select them with care.  
Sculpting Evolution by Kalyan S Rathore, Art in Decor: Art for Open Spaces, Art Scene India

Sculpting Evolution by Kalyan S Rathore


  • When buying or commissioning artworks for open spaces one must consider the medium and the material which is used.
  • For instance, stone, fiberglass and metals which have been treated are more suitable for the outdoors.
  • Instead of buying multiple artworks, focus on one or two larger pieces that are likely to create a more striking impact.
  • It may also be a good idea to opt for customized art as an extension of the existing theme to create a cohesive effect.


  • In open areas, art can be displayed on the wall, floor or ground and may also be suspended from a beam.
  • Murals can be painted directly on the walls or three dimensional artworks can be secured onto the wall. 
  • Large sculptures are ideal for open areas and are extremely versatile when it comes to their display. 
  • Installations, particularly multimedia and those involving light, water and sound can be especially stunning for large open spaces and form the perfect backdrop for a dramatic setting.
Open areas in homes are primarily informal spaces which may also be used for socializing and therefore it is essential to infuse a sense of fun and vibrancy through the choice of art.  Vivid colours can make the place animated and cheerful.  However, in rare instances when a formal décor theme is extended onto the open area, abstract and conceptual artworks are ideal for display.

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2 Apr 2018

Art Mumbai: Written on Water curated by Sanjeev Sonpimpare

Written on Water is a human experience, celebrating warmth of acceptance and belonging, writes Shubhalakshmi Shukla

Curated by the Mumbai based artist Sanjeev Sonpimpare, Written on Water at Gallery Beyond, Mumbai, brings together a miscellaneous collection of artworks by artists from Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kalabhavan Santiniketan, Baroda and Mumbai, with Alok Bal, Balaji Ponna, Binoy Varghese, Madhuri Kathe, Moutushi Chakraborty, Nilesh Shaharkar, Nitasha Jaini, Prasanta Sahu, Pratul Dash, Ritu Kamath, Ruchika W Singh, Sanjeev Sonpimpare, Sarika Mehta and Ushmita Sahu. 
Sanjeev Sonpimpare002, Industrial oil on canvas, 11.5'' x 23.5'', Written on Water, Art Scene India
Sanjeev Sonpimpare, Industrial oil on canvas, 11.5'' x 23.5''
The artworks explore artists’ individualistic search and concerns. Within these, the show interweaves with the current state of human consciousness, and issues related to gender, caste, class and race disturbance, violence and unrest.

“We all long for certain positivity to be there in our lives, and we constantly work on it just to set things in a pleasant state. It is in a constant flux, outside and inside. Let’s not deny that we all are living in times that are dark in hue. This instability and impermanence that we negotiate in everyday life become a way to remind ourselves that this may be the only instance let for us to greet each other, and move further with our lives," explains Sonpimpare in his curatorial note. 
Nitasha Haini001, Acrylic on canvas, 38'' x 48'', Written on Water, Art Scene India
Nitasha Jaini, Acrylic on canvas, 38'' x 48''
Some artists have chosen to view the inward turmoil, bringing to the surface the discreet narratives of the marginal, for instance, the Santiniketan based Prasanta Sahu. Others have chosen to detach the 'female body' from all the attributes of patriarchy, keeping the context of urban kitsch and beauty alive as in 'Aurat' by Kolakata based Moutushi Chkaraborty. While, Sanjeev Sonpimpare brings about an existential search for language, an unlayering of melancholy in the current times.
Madhuri Kathe002, Mixed Media on canvas, 60'' x 36'' Written on Water, Art Scene India
Madhuri Kathe, Mixed Media, 60'' x 36''

Dr. Madhuri Kathe’s concerns with the human body are subtly expressed, creating her visual idiom through layers of translucent fabric and colors to speak of human interiority undergoing social transformations and acquiring an unbelievable transparency. Nitasha Jaini creates a context for a new emerging identity of the city male in India, dissolving feudal and fundamentalist values of patriarchy. Ritu Kamath celebrates the new woman in the city, free of bondage and sufferings of the male dominated world. 

Ushmita Sahu, a participating artist found this to be an exceptional experience, “I feel when a fellow artist and friend curates a project, it gives participating artists a sense of freedom as well as ownership which was also evident in the regular sharing of thoughts and ideas by all artists in a dedicated WhatsApp group for several months leading up to the show. This camaraderie and commitment has translated into amazing works being created for the show."
Pratul Dash 001 to 003, Water colour on paper, 8'' x 5.5'', Written on Water, Art Scene India
Pratul Dash, Water colour on paper, 8'' x 5.5'',
Prasanta Sahu, Reverse painting with Acrylic colour on Acrylic sheet, 24'' x 24'', Written on Water, Art Scene India
Prasanta Sahu, Reverse acrylic painting on acrylic sheet, 24'' x 24''

“I have a feeling of accomplishment in bringing good works together, and see the show as a unified one, in terms of display and totality. Conceptually too, all artists have worked in sync to the concept note, but more importantly they were chosen accordingly,” expands Sonpimpare.

Written on Water is a human experience. It is symptomatic of high capitalism as well celebrates newness. Like urban affairs are often celebratory and momentary, the exhibition too celebrates with splashing warmth of acceptance and belongingness. What remains dark is the unsaid, the unspoken, the submerged and lost. The loss and erasure of personal history can be liberating and yet simultaneously scary, like a schizophrenic cacophony. How is human memory going to keep record of ‘celebration as celebration’ is the question!

The show continues till April 7th 2018.

About the Writer: Shubhalakshmi Shukla is an independent writer and curator based in Mumbai. Her first book on contemporary art practices Imagined Locales, is launched by The Studio X Mumbai.

All images are courtesy the writer

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21 Mar 2018

Art News: Building Bridges at Gallery Sumukha

‘Building Bridges’ at Gallery Sumukha is an international project conceived by Ushmita Sahu in collaboration with Emergent Art Space (San Francisco). The project was conceived to unfold over a period of one year from March 2017 to March 2018 in various stages with an open call for submissions from individual freelance artists of up to 30 years in age, working in video, photography, performance and sound art genres from across the world. 

Vishal Kumaraswamy Video Still 2, Building Bridges at Gallery Sumukha

The unique angle to the project is that it was conceived, curated and executed via the virtual platform. None of the artists, the curator or the sponsors had ever met physically. All communication has been conducted over the internet. After artist’s selection, in the month of October 2017, EAS & the curator conducted a closed community blog as an intrinsic part of the project, which was hosted by Emergent Art on their website.

The aim of the blog was to foster exchange and to facilitate a deeper understanding and knowledge of the other, to create a dialogical process aimed at encouraging and exchanging thoughts, ideas, images and texts about their works and their experiences, getting to know each other, exploring the others’ worlds, the ones similar as well as those more distant, for background, experience, country and culture. The underlying intent was to look beyond stereotypes and build lasting bridges between differences and distant points. The blog saw regular posts and interaction by the artists on various concerns and topics ranging from gender and body issues, to post colonial identity, transmigration and many more.
Dengke Chen 1, Building Bridges at Gallery Sumukha
After the month long blogging process each artist created new works for a tri-city show in India (Kolkata in January, Delhi in February & Bangalore in March 2018). All the works created are of digital format – whether photography, video, book art, augmented reality & animation or sound works, each has been created keeping in mind that the sharing process is also virtual in nature. The curator has been in constant touch over the internet, guiding and mentoring the artists. All the finalized works were sent to her, whereupon she downloaded them and got them ready in their physical avatar for the live shows.

According to Sahu, “Taking inspiration from Newton’s adage - We build too many walls and not enough bridges, Project BUILDING BRIDGES has aimed to encourage 13 young artists from across the globe to come together and foster a voice of reason and dialogue that will help create a platform for empathy, and understanding through art, creativity and exchange.”

Project BUILDING BRIDGES continues at Gallery Sumukha, Bangalore till 28th March 2018.

*press release

16 Feb 2018

Art Offers Hope To Artist Stricken With Cancer

Kartikey Sharma's inspirational story of living with cancer and finding hope and solace in his art

Rated among the best graffiti artists in India, Kartikey Sharma was directing artists to paint at Sunburn, while on the other hand, he was waiting for his next session of chemotherapy. His is a story of grit and determination, fighting last stage cancer with paints and a brush for 2 years now.

Graffiti by Kartikey Sharma, Image courtesy artist, Art Scene India

“A routine full body check-up in 2009 came as a shocker to my family and me – a tumor was detected in my chest. Soon it was found to be malignant. Luckily, the cancer was in its second stage when it is fairly treatable. I was in class 12th then. Our entire family moved to Mumbai for my treatment. I was declared fit in September 2009, I recovered and took admission in a Pune engineering college, after scoring 88 percent in STD 12 boards. I made a painting after every exam as a stress-busting activity. Although I was into art during my childhood, it never occurred to me that I could make it a career,” he narrates.

He started painting walls when he was in college, and the first big opportunity that came his way was when someone from Red Bull spotted him and commissioned him to paint a wall for them. He painted for fourteen hours straight and the sheer satisfaction that emanated when it was completed was unanticipated, almost incomparable for him. Thus began his professional journey with art.
painting by kartikey sharma,  Image courtesy artist, Art Scene India
Unfortunately for him, the cancer relapsed in February 2016 and spread from his chest to all parts of his body and was diagnosed at Stage IV. “I had to immediately start my treatment and chemotherapy sessions in Mumbai. Doctors had given up on me however my father imported an expensive drug from Germany, which helped me a great deal, but it was a huge financial blow to my family. It has been 2 years since then; I have been under observation in the hospital. The cancer treatment is very painful; gradually one loses patience and the motivation to go on. I came to Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai in January and I am undergoing a bone marrow transplant after chemotherapy failed. I have seen 10 people get bone marrow transplant and 8 of them died,” he explains.

The most important factor in his life have been blood cells - the cancer and its cure both are associated with cells. "I had to go through 'stem cell transplant' in which my mother's cells were injected inside me. These cells saved my life. All my paintings are inspired by these cells. all my paintings are covered with thousands and millions of these tiny cells which together make the complete image."

In the past 2 years while undergoing treatment, he has painted over 80 works and has held a solo exhibition and participated in 2 group shows. He was also invited by TEDx GLIM Chennai to speak about his art and his journey.

“Months and months of looking at pale hospital room ceilings, excruciating pain and powerful drugs in the system is a lot that the body can take, let alone find a colorful way to coexist but I believe that your passion has to be the biggest driving force when you cannot see a light at the end of the tunnel,” he ends on an optimistic note.

You can see and also purchase more of Kartikey’s artworks here.

Write to us to know more about Kartikey’s journey and get in touch if you would like to help in any way. 

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1 Feb 2018

Art News: Ode To Nature By Shirley Mathew

Ode To Nature - A Solo Exhibition By Shirley Mathew

Art News: Ode To Nature - Shirley Mathew
Conceived while sitting in front of a Buddhist temple in Bylekoppe, Coorg, Shirley Mathew's latest suite of works delve deep into the interconnectedness between nature and spirituality and translate them onto canvas. The outcome is a beautiful series that is a celebration in brilliant colours.
Shirley Mathew, a graduate in Psychology (Hons), Jesus and Mary College, Delhi, was initially interested in the nuances of drama and theatre in school and college. She has acted in plays and directed skits from a young age. All along she dabbled in art and later enrolled for intensive study in art at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in the US. She further trained in Barcelona, Spain at the Escola Llotja, the institution where Picasso studied in his early years and his father had taught. This was followed by a short residency at the Garhi Studios of Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi that was enriching as an artist.  She later trained in Tuscany, Italy and learned new techniques to hone her talent that has led to another dimension in her creativity.
Art News: Ode To Nature - Shirley Mathew
Shirley has represented Karnataka at the Art Fusion Show, Mumbai, to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Statehood of Maharastra.  A finalist in a National Art Competition, she has participated in more than 50 shows that include several solo shows in prestigious galleries of Bengaluru. She has made a presence in the genre of Abstract Expressionism and has displayed her works in 10 cities of India. Her interest to learn other art forms led to completing courses in Madhubani Painting and Basic paper making conducted by well known artists in the respective fields.
Art News: Ode To Nature - Shirley Mathew
Working mostly with mixed medium, Shirley allows the subject to rule the choice of palette and techniques. Her philosophy is to touch as many lives positively with her creativity and has been conducting art awareness shows for many years in her studio. Shirley has conducted workshops for underprivileged children to raise funds and with professionals in the corporate world to introduce art as therapy.

Her works are in the collection of private homes and Corporate Houses in India, Bahrain, Singapore, USA, Australia, UK and France. She lives and works in Bengaluru.

Exhibition continues till 28th Feb, 2018 at Sublime Galleria, Bangalore

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23 Jan 2018

Art News: OPEN CALL: apexart International Open Call 2018-19

OPEN CALL: apexart International Open Call 2018-19

From February 1 - March 1, 2018 apexart is accepting proposals for its International Open Call for exhibitions. Three winning proposals will be presented as part of apexart’s 2018-19 exhibition season, and can take place anywhere in the world, except for New York City. Curators, artists, writers, and creative individuals, regardless of experience level or location, are invited to submit proposals online.

•   The Submission Process: Proposals should describe focused, idea-driven, original group exhibitions. No biographical information, CVs, links, or images may be included within the application - just describe the exhibition you want to create and why. Submissions cannot exceed 500 words and must be submitted in English, and submitters must have visited the proposed exhibition location previously. This year’s submission form also requires the listing of three potential artists, though this list will not be reviewed by the jury. Proposals are judged only by their content and the organizer’s ability to communicate, rather than by familiar names or past accomplishments.
Illegal Kosmonavtika (Installation view), an apexart Open Call exhibition organized by Magda Guruli and Mariam Natroshvili in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2017
Illegal Kosmonavtika (Installation view), an apexart Open Call exhibition organized by Magda Guruli and Mariam Natroshvili in Tbilisi, Georgia in 2017.
•   The Selection Process: An international jury, composed of more than 150 individuals from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, rates the proposals. Rather than convene a small panel to review hundreds of ideas, apexart’s crowd-sourced voting system allows many jurors to individually review a subset of proposals. Submissions are made anonymous and randomized for juror review, and apexart does not influence the results of the jury. The organizers of the three highest-ranked proposals each receive an honorarium and funding for the selected exhibition proposal, and work closely with the apexart team to turn their idea into an apexart exhibition.
To submit an exhibition proposal, visit apexart.org/opencalls.php by March 1, 2018.

Proposals will be accepted from February 1 - March 1, 2018.

To learn more about how to submit your 500-word exhibition proposal, visit apexart.org/opencalls.php

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