21 Jun 2016

Art News: Art Scene India Recommends

Art Scene India Recommends: 

Here's a round up of art exhibitions and events for you to visit - most of these are in Bangalore. Do visit them and let me know your views. Which ones resonated with you? Drop me a line here. I look forward to hearing from you.


June 21, 2016, Today
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June 26, 2016, Sunday

Galerie Sara Arakkal presents Yusuf Arakkal's "FACES OF CREATIVITY", an exhibition of 135 Indian artists portrait with a Book launch.
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Gallery Sumukha marks its 20th year since 1996 and celebrates with the opening of 'An Inner Retrospective'
Solo by K. Laxma Goud, with curatorial inputs from Marta Jakimowicz

‘The Limited Edition’ is an exhibition which pays homage to the art of printmaking. The exhibition consists of prints produced during a two week long printmaking workshop organized within the gallery space. The workshop brought together important pedagogies of Indian printmaking. Artists from Santiniketan, Baroda, Kheragarh, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Mysore were part of the atelier.



28 Apr 2016

Art Advice: Market Mantra, Education Times, Bangalore

Nalini S Malaviya, an art consultant, critic and founder of an art information website, on growing opportunities for artists and allied professionals in her field

By BS Manu Rao
Art Advice: Market Mantra, Education Times, Nalini Malaviya, Art Consultant, Bangalore
The Indian art market is rapidly evolving and expanding in width and dimension despite economic downturns. The last couple of decades have been responsible in giving an impetus to art activities, and in causing a surge in terms of awareness and interest in art. In recent times, several art fairs, festivals and significant exhibitions held across India have ensured that not only local audiences are engaged, but international participation has also grown. In fact, India is fast becoming a prominent player in the region as interest in modern and contemporary art has grown significantly across the world, and the events built around it are of global standards. International art auction houses are also viewing India as a significant market, which is also indicated by a surge in sales in modern Indian art at recent auctions.

Industry Status
With the growth in the Indian art market, not just artists but also other allied professionals such as critics, curators, consultants, restorers among others have increased opportunities for employment. The job description of an art consultant can be quite exhaustive and involve advice on investing in art, building an art collection for individuals and corporate, offering advisory services such as appraisals and valuation. It also involves interactions with artists, mentoring upcoming artists, writing catalogue text, curating art exhibitions and also has opportunities for teaching, conducting seminars, writing for media and advising start-ups on art ventures. As an established art consultant, one can work with artists, galleries, corporates and also art colleges.

Educational Qualifications and Skill Sets
Art history/criticism/curation/arts management backgrounds facilitate a career in art consulting. People from multidisciplinary backgrounds who are creative and knowledgeable about art, possess exceptional analytical and writing skills along with the ability to conceptualize and curate exhibitions can also succeed, but it is important to understand that one must be conversant and informed about art history, artists, global trends, markets, galleries and related topics. Irrespective of the educational background, art consulting is a demanding field and one must be willing to learn with experience and self-study. It also helps to be passionate about art and have networking skills, along with excellent communication skills.

Growth Areas
The contemporary art scene is expected to grow further; the online space especially is evolving at a fast clip and is expected to see more players. As corporates and other businesses become more sensitive towards the arts, the expertise of an art consultant will be required to bring in art based programmes, for instance, training and workshops for employees, activities as part of corporate social responsibility and other areas where art knowledge and creativity is essential.

Starting salaries could be low, but there are plenty of opportunities to freelance. It can be anywhere from Rs 20,000 onwards depending on your capabilities and skill sets.

-As told to BS Manu Rao

An abbreviated version of the above article was published in Times of India, Bangalore on 25th April, 2016 

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25 Mar 2016

Guide: The Fine Art of Buying

Art is a visual investment, and as a medium has the ability to alter the aesthetics of the environment 

Buying your first work of art can be intimidating and perhaps, also perplexing. How does one decide which artist’s work to buy or where to buy it from? Similarly, there are questions related to style, genre, medium, size and of course, the price of the artwork. These can all add further to the confusion. So, here are a few tips to guide you towards selecting and buying an artwork.
Guide: The Fine Art of Buying, art buying tips, Art Scene India

Empower yourself

The first step is to visit a few art galleries to see the works that are displayed there, and consider what engages you - which works do you feel aesthetically, emotionally and intellectually drawn to? Notice your reaction to the works displayed and this will give you an indication of the kind of works that you relate to. Visualize these on your walls now and consider if you would like to look at them over and over again. Remember that art is a long term investment and that is very unlikely that you would purchase a new work of art for your living room every couple of months.

The next step is to look up online galleries and browse through images to learn more about various genres, styles and corresponding prices. Again, this will give you a sense of the kind of art which engages you, as well as direct you to artists whose works you like.

Guide: The Fine Art of Buying, art buying tips, Art Scene IndiaMake sure, you do this only after you have visited and viewed art galleries, since the physicality of viewing art is an important step in understanding its nuances, for instance the tactility of the medium, use of pigments and materials, textural quality and the dimensionality of the artwork are evident only when you stand before it. In fact, also visit artist studios and interact with artists whenever possible. This will facilitate an understanding of processes, and materials and media.

In parallel, read up on articles to know more about artists and current exhibitions. It will give you a sense of art trends, popular artists and will cultivate familiarity with the language used in describing art. This will also help you in understanding text accompanying art, which in turn offers insights into the work.

Set a budget

It is important to set aside a budget for art so that there is clarity on the amount that you are willing to invest in art. It would be advisable to begin with a small amount, perhaps in the Rs 20,000 - 50,000 range, which allows you to gain confidence in the initial period of learning. You could consider buying works by upcoming artists as these are likely to be in the affordable range. You could also purchase limited edition prints, drawings and watercolours, which are generally priced lower, in comparison to oils and acrylics.

Following these steps will ensure you learn about art and the art market, enabling you to make the right choices when it comes to buying for your home. Even if you are buying art at your interior decorator’s advice, take the time to be personally involved.

Art is a visual medium of expression, which can be used creatively to complement home interiors. It is a visual investment, and as a medium has the ability to alter the aesthetics of the environment completely and as you learn more about its finer aspects, you can incorporate both style and substance in your home interiors.

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4 Mar 2016

Wood Furniture as Décor Statement

Home décor is all about expressing your individuality in a creative and aesthetic manner, while keeping functionality in mind. Building your décor around a statement piece of furniture gives a refreshing approach to the décor, and has the potential to create a dramatic visual impact.

What is statement furniture?

Statement furniture is any piece of furniture which stands out in a given space, due to its design, colour and unique aesthetics. It can be a furniture piece that sets the tone for the room; it may even act as a focal point, and essentially ensures that all eyes are drawn to it as one enters the room. For instance, it could be a low coffee table in mahogany, a stunning Victorian desk, an antique dresser or an ornately carved chair. It could also be a book shelf in a startling red or white, or a study table in vibrant yellow!
Wood Furniture as Décor Statement, Asian Paints Woodtech Studio’s campaign, Art Scene India
Now, even if you do not have statement furniture with you, you can easily convert one by using Asian Paints latest range of wood colours and polishes. For instance, this antique chest of drawers here is what I would like to have as an end product which can anchor the space. So, all I have to do is check out their Woodtech Studio and select colours and finishes which suit my requirement. I can also select the wood and then cross check to see what the best matches are.
Wood Furniture as Décor Statement, Asian Paints Woodtech Studio’s campaign, Art Scene India
Essentially, Asian Paints Woodtech series of wood care products offer complete solutions in a wide range of wood finishes. Their finishing products are perfect for creating beautifully finished furniture and floors, and for restoring old pieces. In fact, all blemishes and scratches get blended to create a smooth flawless finish.

The website allows you to create, refurbish and reinvent furniture for your home. Offering valuable advice and tips, the information is easy to navigate and is complete with practical, doable and expert advice tailored completely to your requirements.

For instance, I chose Rosewood for my Chest of Drawers and I was offered information about the wood as well – ‘Rosewood is close-grained hard wood, with the heartwood of either golden brown or a dark blood-red colour and the sapwood of pale yellow. It has an exclusive fragrance. It is hard to work upon but takes polish well. The material has high bending and crushing strengths with low stiffness and medium resistance to shock loads. The surface has a tendency to check and split when air dried rapidly. It is very durable and moderately resistant to termites in Indian climates’. It is good to learn more about different types of wood, and the kind of finishes that match better, and most importantly how best to conceptualize the décor keeping various eras and styles in mind.
Wood Furniture as Décor Statement, Asian Paints Woodtech Studio’s campaign, Art Scene India
Since, I chose a vintage look from the options offered, I could also read more about the thematic and historic details, ‘Vintage interiors are inspired from art styles of eras gone by. Ranging from the English elegance showcased in the royalty-inspired Victorian times to the free-spirited French-born Art Nouveau, there is a vintage style to suit every character palette here’.

What is interesting is that videos from the video gallery offer step-by-step application process of Woodtech finishes and the guidelines to get the desired wood finish, making it easy to work on your own.

The best way to benefit from this range of products would be to visit their award winning concept stores in Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. You can look forward to amazing inspiration ideas, expert advice from experienced Colour Consultants and many more services which will help you make your beautiful home a reality.

This post is a part of Asian Paints Woodtech Studio’s campaign

2 Mar 2016

Art in Interiors: Sculpture as a Décor Element

A sculpture is a beautiful way to alter the dynamics of the space and add an interesting facet to it. The aesthetics (form, material and the concept) of the artwork, interplay of light, its interaction with the surroundings contribute in transforming the space. Being three dimensional, large sized sculptures require more space when displayed in homes - either inside living areas or outside in the open. As opposed to a painting, which is displayed on a wall, a sculpture is placed on a pedestal or directly on the floor and therefore requires special considerations in terms of space and visual impact.

"Of Sounds and Silences" by Raviram Ramakrishnan, Image courtesy Galerie de' arts, Sculpture in decor
Sculpture by Raviraam Ramakrishnan
 A large sculpture placed in any space will interact with it in multiple ways, also because of its extra dimension, which allows it to be viewed from all sides. It would be advisable to place the sculpture in an area which is clear and clutter free, has high visibility and is relatively traffic free. The style and the material are important in deciding where to display the sculpture.

In a garden or terrace, a sculpture can be integrated into the landscaping to create a cohesive and enhanced impact. The important thing to consider when displaying a sculpture in the open is to ensure that it is made of a material which is weather resistant. For instance, stone such as marble or granite, fiberglass, terracotta, and metals which have been specially treated are ideal for the outdoors. When displaying in the outdoors, a sculpture could complement the exteriors better if it is directly placed on a surface - ground, parapet, ledge, etc. Alternately, a pedestal which is made of natural material will enhance harmony between the sculpture and the setting.
Sculpture in decor, Art Scene India
Life size statues are hugely popular as outdoor sculptures. Traditional forms of sculpture are ideal for displaying in the garden; for instance human, animal and mythological figures. Themes which are based on outdoor subjects are suitable – these could be folk, rural or contemporary. A traditional sculpture can be a reminder of stone and rock art from ancient monuments and heritage buildings and help recreate a sense of historicity.

Conceptual pieces in stainless steel or multimedia sculptures are ideal for the terrace or the centre of the garden, and can form interesting anchor points for conversation during garden parties and other gatherings.

It is also essential to consider both natural lighting and spotlights when exhibiting these artworks in open spaces. All artificial lighting must be strategically placed to bring out the features of the sculpture, yet avoid creating a harsh or glaring effect. The illumination should be appropriate to bring out details of carvings, relief work, planes, shadows and textures.

The writer is an art consultant

This article was published in The Times of India-The Address recently.

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