17 Dec 2014

Art Talk: 'Recollections Reconnections' by Artist SG Vasudev

Heavy textures gouge out a terrain that is undulating and sinuous, mapping a visual narrative in SG Vasudev's recent works. 

 

Rhapsody, Recollections and Reconnections by Artist SG Vasudev, Art Scene India, Bangalore art scene
I met the well-known artist SG Vasudev at the December ArtPark event at Ravindra Kalashetra, right before the opening of his solo show. The ArtPark is an initiative by the veteran artist to encourage interaction between artists and the general public in an informal environment, outside a gallery setting. It allows visitors to talk to artists, watch them draw and paint and even buy art directly from them. The lush green park with its tall trees, tucked in a secluded corner away from the bustling streets of Bangalore, forms a perfect setting to mingle with your friends and enjoy the art.

Rhapsody, Recollections and Reconnections by Artist SG Vasudev, Art Scene India, Bangalore art sceneWe discussed Vasudev’s upcoming show, ‘Recollections Reconnections’, Ananya Drishya - a monthly event where artists and other members present their work, and the possibility of a visual art festival in Bangalore. The driving force behind many public art initiatives in the city, Vasudev is an active crusader in his attempts to popularize art and to position Bangalore as a significant art destination. “We clearly need support from all quarters, and the government and corporates must come forward and encourage art and culture activities,” he passionately argues.

Vasudev’s latest series of paintings shows a perceptible shift from his earlier works. Heavy textures gouge out a terrain that is undulating and sinuous, mapping a visual narrative. The transformation is evident in his visual vocabulary with the granular and textural backdrop assuming greater significance.

The imagery has also undergone subtle changes, shelving the rigidity of the form and progressing towards the abstract. Similarly, the muted colour palette allows greater interplay with the topography, while the embellishments play out like musical notes. Animals, trees, human figures and other elements from his previous works are all there, but have evolved and morphed into figures and forms where their edges fade and amalgamate with their surroundings. A delightful rhapsody that plays out on canvas.
Rhapsody, Recollections and Reconnections by Artist SG Vasudev, Art Scene India, Bangalore art scene
Interestingly, Vasudev first builds layers of white pigment on canvas to form a thick textural background, and then adds colours, only to remove it systematically from most areas. An avid music aficionado, SG Vasudev listens to music as he paints and he likens the process of his painting to the notes in music. “It is similar to the ‘Raga, Taana and Pallavi’ process in Carnatic music, when a ‘raga’ plays out, it is complete by itself. But, when ‘taana’ starts, it initiates another element and when that completes, ‘pallavi’ starts, which normally has verses and it completes the concert,” he explains. And, so for Vasudev, it is the removal of colours which completes the painting.

The exhibition continues till January 10 at Gallery Sumukha.
   
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12 Dec 2014

Art in Interiors: Miniature Paintings in Home Décor

Traditional miniature paintings are exquisite and should be displayed in an uncluttered environment.


Miniature paintings, as the name suggests are small format artworks with innate historical and traditional linkages. In India, the miniature style of painting is believed to date back to the 16th century, although earlier accounts do exist. Miniatures are traditionally colourful, intricately executed and are typically done on various surfaces such as paper, wood, silk etc. Early works feature portraits, ceremonies, court and hunting scenes, stories from epics and mythology – different schools have their own peculiarities and styles. Some of the notable traditions of miniature painting in India are the Mughal, Rajasthani, Pahari and Deccani courts.
 Traditional miniature painting 'Krishna and Radha' by Nihâl Chand, used under creative commons license, Art in Interiors, Art Scene India
This form of art is delightful and immensely collectable. Paintings which are old have a great vintage and antique value. Often rare and infrequently sold during auctions or private sales, the minute artworks are heavily prized for their delicately detailed work and their historicity.

Miniature paintings are exquisitely intricate and have such fine brushstroke that they need to be displayed on uncluttered walls with minimal mounts and frames so as not to distract from the wonderful stories that are being articulated in the images. From a home décor perspective, miniature art with its historical themes are ideally suitable for traditional and ethnic décors. The effect can be enhanced by displaying them in a cluster and highlighting them with suitable lighting. Grouping them according to theme, period and school which they belong, to build a narrative would work best to heighten the impact.

Mughal miniature painting from the Hamzanama series, used under creative commons license, Art in Interiors, Art Scene IndiaTheir antique look and vintage appearance add much to their value and as long as they are in fairy good condition one need not tamper with them.

In case, one doesn’t have access to original miniature works, there are a few artists who can reproduce and also make their own small format paintings. These too can be grouped and put up as part of a traditional décor and displayed in a similar way. Corresponding antique furniture and other artifacts which complement such a décor scheme will be in harmony with traditional miniature art, as well.


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

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4 Dec 2014

Art News: Bhopal - A Silent Picture by Samar Jodha

Samar Jodha’s art installation is a grim reminder of the tragedy that continues to haunt Bhopal to this day.


December 2, 1984 is a date firmly etched in our minds. The Bhopal gas tragedy remains the largest industrial disaster in the world, when 42 tons of the deadly methyl isocyanate leaked from the Union Carbide plant poisoning more than half a million people and taking 30,000 lives.

Today, 30 years later the lethal gas continues to maim and kill, even as victims wait endlessly for justice and compensation. With the recent death of Warren M. Anderson, the chief executive officer of the UCC at the time, Bhopal disaster survivors are struggling to find any form of closure to the tragic event.
Art News: Bhopal - A Silent Picture by Samar Jodha, Art Scene India

Samar Jodha’s art installation is a grim reminder of the tragedy and a tribute to the innocent and faceless victims. An activist artist Jodha has been using photography and film for the past 20 years to address issues such as development, human rights and conservation.

"A striking document which will contribute to perpetuate the memory of an apocalyptic event," says Dominique Lapierre, the co-author of It Was Five Past Midnight in Bhopal about Jodha's project. Bhopal - A Silent Picture is a multimedia installation that simulates an environment with sound, light and temperature to recreate the sensory experience of the night of the disaster.
the project creates a simulated environment through sound, light and controlled temperature inside the container that takes the viewer through a proximate experience - See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bhopal/bhopal-gas-tragedy-themed-art-installation-in-rome/article1-1292774.aspx#sthash.HlPsFiud.dpuf
the project creates a simulated environment through sound, light and controlled temperature inside the container that takes the viewer through a proximate experience - See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bhopal/bhopal-gas-tragedy-themed-art-installation-in-rome/article1-1292774.aspx#sthash.HlPsFiud.dpuf
Art News: Bhopal - A Silent Picture by Samar Jodha, Art Scene India
The photographs in the multimedia installation have been shot at the Union Carbide plant, which has since been sealed. The leakage from that fateful night continues to poison the soil, air and water of its surrounding areas. 'The images portray an eerie emptiness – comparable to the Nazi gas chambers of Auschwitz. However, unlike Auschwitz, the perpetrators of this crime continue to walk free. The victims – largely poor people, continue to be denied fair compensation, adequate health care or legal redressal. Worse, they are forced behind a veil of indifference and enforced silence. This installation also hints at this state of affairs with a shroud bearing names and file numbers of some of the victims’ that envelops them in anonymity' elaborates Jodha's website. 

Jodha began working on the …Silent Picture project in 2004, when a UK-based TV channel asked him to take a few pictures of the site to mark 20 years of the tragedy. After completing his assignment for the channel, he began working independently there and has shown the resultant cargo container interactive art installation in the UK, US and Switzerland since 2009.
Jodha took his exhibit to London during the 2012 Olympics, as a mark of protest against Dow Chemical Company, the parent company of Union Carbide, acting as official partner of the Games.
- See more at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/bhopal/bhopal-gas-tragedy-themed-art-installation-in-rome/article1-1292774.aspx#sthash.HlPsFiud.dpuf
Jodha's art installation has traveled to Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai. Over 85,000 people visited this project in Mumbai in a week alone, making it the largest ever-viewed public art project in India.

In association with Amnesty International Italy, Jodha’s installation is on display at the Piazza Della Repubblica in Rome till December 6, 2014.

1 Dec 2014

Tips: Exhibiting Art in Non-Gallery Spaces

What you should know before exhibiting your artwork in alternative spaces, such as hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques and even malls.


In a weak economy, it helps to be creative and look for alternative sources of income. For an artist it could mean exploring online options for selling art and it could also involve looking for unconventional venues and non-gallery spaces for exhibiting art. In this context, let’s consider the factors involved in exhibiting your artworks in spaces, such as hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques and even malls.
Exhibiting Art in Non-Gallery Spacessuch as hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques and even malls, Art Scene India
In India, there have been a lot of changes in the art scene and people are adopting creative approaches to tap newer markets and clientele. Many shows are organized by art dealers and promoters in alternate venues. When a show is organized by a professional, it becomes easier for artists to navigate terms and conditions and ensure that all their concerns are addressed.

On the other hand, if as an artist, you are approached directly to put up a few artworks in a commercial space, you need to ensure that you get a fair deal. Working outside a gallery can be a complicated process with several unknown elements and it helps to have a clear picture of what it encompasses. Knowing that art can be a huge draw for their clients, there are an increasing number of commercial venues who are exploring tie ups with artists and galleries. Having an art show or just having art on the walls does make it a culturally enhanced space, so yes; they need you as much as you need them.

There are benefits in exhibiting in a non-gallery space if you can take care of a few factors. One of the first things that you should do is to make sure that exhibiting in such a venue is not conflicting with the policies of any of the galleries that you are associated with.

Exposure and Visibility


A huge advantage in exhibiting in a non-gallery space is that the audience is very different from the regular crowd which visits art galleries. So, in terms of exposure and visibility it is a great idea to explore alternative venues, especially if you have artworks to spare. There is a chance that you may not sell your artworks, as people who walk in for meals or coffee are often unlikely to buy art on a whim. More so, if this is a place which is not a regular on the art and culture scene! Having said that, remember that such venues are growing in number which means that the audience is becoming more aware and conditioned to the idea of buying art.

Here are a few things to know when finalizing the place. Make sure it is a space which has sufficient footfalls and the ambience is interesting. Discuss with the management to ensure that the display is good and your artwork is not being used simply for the purposes of interior decoration.

If it is going to be an exhibition for a short time, then it makes sense to ensure there is enough publicity for the event and there are invites, write-ups and print material to give out more information about you - contact details and your profile. Remember, people who are buying your art would like to know more about you.

It helps to have multiple events to coincide with your show. You could and should insist on having a preview, in addition to other events which could be related to food, music or artist interactions. These are all beneficial and help to get people to come and attend these functions and hopefully also buy.

It’s important that the artworks appear to be on sale and not part of the interior décor, because unless clearly stated even if a visitor likes the painting, he is not going to inquire about it if it looks like the painting is part of the décor. Carefully work out the sizes and costs of the artworks to make them attractive to clients.

Confirm


Costs: Framing and printing of the invites, cards and leaflets. Are there any other costs? If there is a preview who is bearing the cost.

Duration: How long will the artworks be on display – short term (less than one month) or is it for a longer (more than six months) time frame. In case it is for a longer time, you may want to rotate/replace the paintings every couple of months.

Commission: How much is the hotel going to charge you for the sale of each artwork? The percentage is usually significantly lower than what an art gallery would normally charge.

Exposure: Find out if they plan to advertise, send out newsletters to their clients or if they will hire a PR Agency to do the media publicity.

Display: Where are the artworks displayed? Is it in some corner where no one will see it, or is it in a high visibility area where there are a lot of visitors? Give your inputs to ensure a good display. Make sure the lighting is appropriate and highlights your work.

Insurance: Who is responsible for loss or damage to the artwork – what about insurance costs?

Work out the logistics of delivering the artworks – packaging and shipping and discuss the payment options in advance.

I hope this helps you when next time you are approached by a commercial venue to have an exhibition.

If you have exhibited in a hotel, café or a mall, tell us about your experience, Also, if you have any suggestions, please share with us.

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25 Nov 2014

Blogerversary: Art Scene India Completes 8 Years

8 Years of my Online Avatar


Blogging for the last eight years has been one of the best decisions of my life. Even though it started out as a random extension of my work in 2006, the blog has organically grown into a niche site on art.

You may remember, in the initial phase, I was essentially sharing most of my print articles in order to reach out to a larger audience on the web. Starting with a basic template on blogger, May to November 2006 was all about figuring out how to upload content and tweaking the template according to my requirements. I remember I had to depend on my husband (an IIT alumni, no less!) to make most of those changes which involved programming skills.

A few years down the line, when I migrated to another template, I was more confident about making the switch on my own, ensuring that all backups were taken care of. The last thing you want is for all the data to disappear during the transition!
Art Scene India 8th Anniversary collage
Indian Art (2006) to Art Scene India (2014)
And, then finally about a year ago, I opted to move to a sleek, uncluttered look with a white background. I was even able to customize the template to a large extent. I opened up the site to advertisers and for the very first time I talked about my blogging journey and the challenging times that I went through. If you haven’t read it, you can take a look here.

Coming back to this story, so, even though Art Scene India may not be perfect, it is a website that is unique and tries to conform to highest standards of online publishing. Remember, today blogging is not just about creating great content but involves so much more - keywords, SEO, image titles and alt tags, social media and the works. For a non-technical person with zero programming skills it can often be a challenge, as I have often discovered. Fortunately, I have a great community of readers, YOU, who have been amazingly supportive throughout!

Most Read/Favourite Posts


This November, on the blog’s 8th anniversary, it is time to reflect, take stock and plan ahead!
Just to let you know, the first post ever published on this blog was on 2nd November, 2006. It was an article written on Atul Dodiya for Times of India. I talked to Atul close to 2 hours and had recorded the entire conversation – he was a delight to talk to, especially once he opened up. He shared details about his life, his journey and his family – a wonderful conversation, how I wish I had saved the audio!

Raja Ravi Verma’s Lady in Moonlight NGMA BangaloreA writeup on NGMA, Bangalore has been one of the most visited articles on my website. It was linked from Wikipedia as I found out accidentally, but then I later discovered that it (the link) was deleted.

Another post, a really short one on Mandana Art is a close second on the list of most visited articles on Art Scene India. It definitely needs to be updated because the information is so sketchy that I am sure the readers’ visiting the page must be disappointed. If you know any artist belonging to the Meena community, do let me know. Top 10 Posts of 2013: Time to Wrap Up and More is also one of the most read posts.

Here are a few of my favourite posts and which I wrote exclusively for you. I would love to have you revisit them 10 Tips For Buying Art, 6 Tips on How to Approach an Art Gallery and Find Gallery Representation, How To Write An Artist Statement and How to Create an Online Presence. All of these have been quite popular with readers. Incidentally, most of these topics have evolved into lectures for art students and workshops for practicing artists!

It's All About You


As I look back at the last eight years, I realize it has been a long time and even though there were moments when things were difficult and I was not able to post much, I am happy to be here. With you.

I’m sharing a part of what Jaideep Sen, art writer & amateur artist, sent me by email, “Nalini Malaviya's blog, Art Scene India, has for many years been the definitive archive and resource for art-show attenders & enthusiasts in Bangalore. As an art writer, I have incessantly referenced and borrowed material and info from her blog, Art Scene India... I'm indebted, to say the least, and continue to seek inspiration in her commitment to the arts in Bangalore." Thank you, Jaideep for your generous words!

Lot more is planned and on the anvil. You have to come back and check it out for yourself. And, thank you for being part of this amazing journey.

Finally, a huge thank you to the advertisers and sponsors who have supported Art Scene India!
You may also want to take a look at the updated 'About' and 'Advertise' pages.

I would love to know which have been your favourite posts? What changes do you want to see on this website? What is it that you want to read? Drop a comment here or send me a mail. You know I want to hear from you!

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