Showing posts with label Indian Art blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian Art blog. Show all posts

17 Feb 2022

Art News: Consortium by Fidelitus Gallery, Bangalore

Art exhibition celebrates senior art faculty from Bengaluru

Fidelitus Gallery kicks off 2022 with “Consortium - Art Preceptors of Bengaluru Art Institutions”, a unique art exhibition that draws attention to and features the on-going practice of active senior faculty members from 3 prominent Art Institutions in Bengaluru, namely, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath College of Fine Arts, Kalamandir School of Arts and Ken School of Arts.

Consortium by Fidelitus Gallery, Bangalore, Art Scene India,
Sculpture by Vishal Kavatekar
These institutions are decades old and markers of history in the state that have shaped the art scene in the region. Several of their alumni have gone on to become prominent names in the art industry in the country. Fidelitus Gallery through this exhibition acknowledges and celebrates the contribution of these fine art institutes and their extraordinary educators. The exhibition features 10 eminent artists and teachers - A M Prakash, Babu Jattakar, Gopal Kammar, Nagappa Pradhani, Pratibha T S, Sridhar Murthy, T S Baoni, Vishal Kavatekar, Mallappa S Halli and Nirmala Kumari and presents their paintings and sculptures. The show offers an array of fine art in diverse styles, subjects and themes, and materials and media, for the discerning art connoisseurs.

The initiative is also aligned with the Gallery’s “Heritage Wing” project that facilitates educational programs with respect to Museum and Gallery Studies.

Consortium by Fidelitus Gallery, Bangalore, Art Scene India,
Painting by Shridhar Murthy

Fidelitus Gallery aims to create an inclusive platform for the arts - both performing arts and visual arts, along with curated art educational pogrammes for the community.

The gallery is committed towards creating world class art exhibitions by curating hybrid transformative spaces by following standards of the international committee of exhibitions. It also hopes to make a difference in the arts sector through sustained efforts, all of which will gradually create lasting changes in techniques and processes of exhibiting art in the city. 

The collection from “Consortium” will be accessible in a hybrid form - both physically and virtually on the gallery website The gallery believes in giving back to society and follows the motto of Art For A Cause, whereby, part of the sale proceeds will contribute towards Shilpa Foundation, which works on providing a healthy environment and quality education for the underprivileged in Karnataka.

Consortium by Fidelitus Gallery, Bangalore, Art Scene India, www.fidelitusgallery.comThe 10 days exhibition will be formally inaugurated on Saturday, 19th February, 2022 at 6:00 pm. It will be inaugurated at the Fidelitus Gallery on 19th in the presence of Shri Alok Kumar, IPS, ADGP-KSRP, Shri Ashok Kheny Ex MLA Bidar South, MD NICE, Dr. Pramila Lochan- Art Historian and Critic, Shri Lahari Velu, and Shri Achuth Gowda, MD & Founder Fidelitus Corp Pvt Ltd. Artists and art connoisseurs are welcome to join the inaugural program.

Consortium by Fidelitus Gallery, Bangalore, Art Scene India, www.fidelitusgallery.comVisit the show here and at the gallery address given below.

The exhibition, “Consortium - Art Preceptors of Bengaluru Art Institutions”, is open to everyone from 19th to 27th February, 2022.

Fidelitus Gallery, Brigade Software Park, No. 42, Ground Floor, B Block, 27th Cross, BSK 2nd Stage, 

Bangalore - 560070

Email: PH: +91 80 68073700

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8 Dec 2021

Tattvamasi by Artist Mohan Shingne

Spurts of Enigma: Nikhil Purohit writes on the art practice of Mohan Shingne 

An artist with formalist fervor operates both as an agent and a vessel for creation. Contemporary Indian art today is a mix-bag of several ideas from world art merged with indigenous aesthetic blends. It liberates an artist like Mohan Shingne to cross the roads with ideas of modernist abstraction and impulsive sculptural responses to a medley of found objects imparting meanings to resulting objects.

Untitled painting by Mohan Shingne, Art Scene India

A nuanced rendition through self-experienced perspective is the notion one ought to look for the works of Shingne rather than novelty. The artist has a dedicated hybrid practice. Firstly, of making sculptures with a conscious thematic of collaging shapes and found objects. Secondly, of paintings worked out as a process of self-exploration like an ardent devotee revealing the inner workings of a contemplative mind. He holds an intimate attachment to his role as an art educator besides following sculpting and painting as primary modes of expression.

With a humble upbringing in a family of goldsmiths, Mohan’s small and life size sculptures carry the craftsmanship and flair for detailing with a remarkable finesse. Poetry for him becomes a source for insinuating his feelings towards the inanimate world around that catches his attention. Words seem to be a storeroom to accumulate his notes for later visual conversions as idioms. It allows to gain a sense of Zen like feeling to learn how objects- mostly rustic, aged, and redundant become one with his psyche and finally at an immersive moment the object is released into a sculpture or flat surface. With a share of hardships in his early life the phase gifted him with a connect toward wordless conversations with things around. A link that has lent subtlety to his paintings and harmony to his 3D objects.

All this process hints at romance with formalism, yet Shingne finds gaps to escape rigidity in practice and breakthrough from monotony by experimenting with the found objects, clubbing them together. He happens to follow a formula of an uncanny juxtaposition where “Form + Form = Form, Form - Form=Form”. Perhaps the equation is an inert one where the principal element always stays. A philosophical take where the utilitarian thought in the object is discounted to abate a metaphor with mysticism.
Sculpture by Mohan Shingne, Art Scene India

The set of new achromatic works made during the nationwide COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period instills mixed feelings of emptiness, seclusion, loneliness, remorsefulness, silence, hope, and perseverance. The general theme of the series in dark shades with subtle textural notes has rectangular divisions annotated with few rhythmic curves breaking the grid formation. This releases the built-in tension formed after continuously watching the work. These works almost remind the ravishing paintings of veteran artist Jeram Patel, though the method of covering the space takes a different visual course. The underlying organic forms are nothing but triggers to melody.

One sculptural collage arouses satire and amuses us. The cylinder works were made by him before the onset of second wave where one could barely imagine how the situation could turn to be grave medically. Hailing from the goldsmith’s family these cans are part of his families’ occupational supplies. Mohan made use of these empty cans to revise their identity by introducing commonplace objects. The juxtaposition can only be admired by the viewer for the ease of mix-match where the two unrelated objects of a can and those of a buttermilk churner, a bowl, and an oil lamp respectively are bonded together. The experimenter within the artist allows spurts of delight and ecstasy.

Faithfully abiding by the tenets of formalism Mohan’s works continue to entice enigma.

Tattvamasi by Mohan Shingne, a Solo Show of Paintings and Sculpture continues till 10th December 2021 at Shridharani Art Gallery, New Delhi

19 Oct 2021

'Ghan Phut' by Shraddha Rathi at Kalakriti Art Gallery

Nostalgia in Wood

'Ghan Phut' by Shraddha Rathi at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Art Scene India
Pieces of ancient carved wood have been transformed into art installations at the solo exhibition ‘Ghan Phut’ by Bangalore based artist Shraddha Rathi. These strike a nostalgic note at Kalakriti Art Gallery in Hyderabad. Celebrating revitalization and renewal, the art works are as much symbols and remnants of melancholy and heritage as an ode to the centuries old craft of exquisite wood carving.

Shraddha describes the artworks as ‘the contrasting confluence of modern day concrete blocks and a century old piece of carved wood which reveal the impermanence of life today and the strength of yester times’.

Born in 1974, Rathi studied performing arts and architecture. A practicing artist for more than fifteen years now, her initial paintings drew inspiration from her architecture and classical dance background. From hyperrealistic paintings of exquisite carvings and sculptures of ancient India she gravitated towards abstraction and installation art. She experimented with installations in wood and metal that combined paint and text to create a play with the display space as well. A series of functional wood pieces formed interactive art that could engage the viewer at another level. The gratitude bench with text related to gratitude engraved on it was the highlight of this show held a few years ago.

'Ghan Phut' by Shraddha Rathi at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Art Scene India 'Ghan Phut' by Shraddha Rathi at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Art Scene India'Ghan Phut' by Shraddha Rathi at Kalakriti Art Gallery, Art Scene India

Recently, when Shraddha came across carved reclaimed wooden pieces that were more than a century old, her formal background in architecture and her desire to draw attention to the magnificence of these pieces, which are often discarded as architectural waste, inspired her to transform them into art installations. She worked with carved pieces that were originally parts of structural elements of havelis and wadas, to uncover and reveal the beauty of each cubic foot of wood. 

Through an elaborate process of reclamation and renewal, Shraddha has attempted to locate these visual markers of culture and history in a contemporary context. She feels each piece is unique and has a story to narrate from its rich and eloquent past.

As she says, “Ghan phut celebrates the unusual convergence of the past and the present, through stories that come alive with reconstruction and revitalization.”

The exhibition is online here at Kalakriti Art Gallery

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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4 Jul 2016

Art Investment: The Fine Art of Collecting

This article was published in Tapasya, a publication by the Indira Institute of Management Pune

The Fine Art of Collecting

The last couple of decades have seen a tremendous surge in terms of awareness and interest in art. Suddenly names like Souza, Raza and Husain are familiar, not to just those within the art community but also outside it. Clearly, this change has not taken place overnight. The economic liberalization policies in the early nineties and the subsequent spurt in economic growth resulted in substantial amounts of disposable income that was accessible for splurging and also for financial investments. Simultaneously, the advent of global luxury brands in India introduced the middle and the upper middle class to luxury products, symbols of societal status and high living. For the first time one could purchase a wide range of aspirational products in India. This exposure to luxury brands and hi-end products was instrumental in creating and widening a buyer base that had a penchant for art, artefacts and collectibles.
Art Investment: The Fine Art of Collecting by Nalini Malaviya
This was also a period when many art galleries set up operations or expanded their businesses, thereby increasing their reach and creating multiple access points for art connoisseurs. In fact, this was a phase when art was positioned and promoted as a viable asset class that could generate large financial returns. Unfortunately, the subsequent crash in the market led to the economic downturn which also affected the art market immensely. It helped in dispelling the myth that all art could be a financial asset in the short term, or that there were parallels between investing in art and in stocks and shares, real estate or gold. In a way this led to correction of art prices and has eventually helped in stabilizing the art market to an extent. It has also shifted the focus back on art as a medium of creative expression, its aesthetics and its visual content rather than stay confined to names, price brackets and returns.

In this context, collecting art has caused some confusion especially for the first time buyer and collector. It Art Investment: The Fine Art of Collecting by Nalini Malaviyabecomes difficult for them to gauge and assess which art to buy, at what price points to enter the market, which artist to invest in and in general what to expect. Yet, art as an aspirational collectible continues to draw connoisseurs who have an eye for the finer things in life and can afford to indulge in luxurious living. Research and an avid interest in art can aid in developing a keen eye for art and also empower buyers on commercial aspects.

For instance, paintings by old masters or contemporary art in various media are coveted for the artist names which have become synonymous with high end brands; however, apart from artist names, thematic content, concept and execution are paramount in contemporary art. With increasing art awareness, a familiarity with artists’ names, local galleries and prominent auction houses is created which empowers the buyer when buying art. As art events, shows and auction reports are widely publicized in the media it helps in keeping abreast of upcoming artists, trends and sale figures. All of which can be valuable when buying art.

Collecting art

Building an art collection can be a rewarding experience, both aesthetically and as a viable investment option, albeit in the long term. It is important to be clear and identify the motives for collecting art, and a passion for the arts should be the driving force. A visual investment should take precedence over all other aspects.

One should also realize that significant collections are difficult to build overnight, but instead they tend to evolve organically over a period of time. In the initial stages, they are driven by the collector's tastes and preferences, however, later on they may get refined further due to conscious efforts. Sometimes, the choice of the collector is governed by considerations such as budget, available space, and time required for such an activity.

When selecting art, it helps to keep in mind if the collection is a private one or if it might be put on public display at a later date. One can buy representative art from various periods or focus on a specific school, style of painting, era or artist. It is also essential to realize that an art collection, unlike one comprising of smaller collectibles needs a larger space, and special care in terms of lighting and maintenance.

The process of buying art can be an exciting and rewarding one – visiting art shows, interacting with artists, critics and gallerists, reading and researching on art are activities which help immensely in selecting art for the collection. It is possible that there will be times, when one is forced to overlook personal tastes in favour of deliberate choices, which would benefit the entire collection as a whole.

When one is collecting art, irrespective of the initial investment, the overall value of the collection is likely to go up with time. Therefore, it is important to do the necessary research and take the time to build one that will be significant in terms of historical content and also its financial worth. When collecting art, it is essential to periodically review the artworks and see if some of them need to be sold off to either make space for new works or in order to build a more coherent compilation.

Art Investment: The Fine Art of Collecting by Nalini MalaviyaThe Indian art scene

The current art scene has much to offer to discerning collectors and buyers. The recently held India Art Fair, New Delhi has grown to be a significant event in the region and attracts a large number of international audiences as well. The Kochi-Muziris Biennale has also emerged as a major art event which showcases several exhibitions and organizes art and culture related programmes for its entire duration. A number of other art exhibitions and festivals that are organized in tier II cities ensure that local audiences are engaged and there is a buzz around art.

Art auction major Sotheby's will be opening its first office in the country in Mumbai in March this year. The auction house Christie's has seen its business grow at a faster clip in India since its first sales in December 2013, and its auction figures saw a sharp surge in 2015.

The contemporary art scene is clearly vibrant and should thrive further in the years to come. The online space is a fast evolving and attractive arena which is expected to see more players. Art ecommerce ventures are likely to grow and hopefully offer greater diversity and curated artworks to its buyers. There is a marked interest in Indian modern and contemporary art and an emerging attentiveness towards classical Indian art, which makes it an exciting phase for art connoisseurs.
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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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6 Nov 2014

Interview: Renu Modi on 25th anniversary of Gallery Espace

Art Scene India interviews Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace on its 25th anniversary

In a discussion with Art Scene India, Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace reflects on her enriching journey in the world of art and reveals her plans for celebrating the gallery's 25th anniversary this year. Hosting one of the most ambitious shows ever featuring ‘Drawings’ by over hundred Indian contemporary artists spanning seven decades, the show promises to be a mega event.

1. Twenty-five years is a long time! How has the journey been?
Art Scene India interviews Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace on its 25th anniversary It’s been an enriching journey. It was on M F. Husain’s insistence that I started the gallery 25 years ago, but without any expectations, without any road map of how to go forward. I knew I had to just follow my instinct and the passion for art, inculcated in me by stalwarts like Manjit Bawa, Swaminathan, Laxma Goud, K K Nayar (art critic) and so many others. I remember sitting with them in their studios for hours just interacting with them and that gave me an immensely enriching world-view about the world of art. I have, by now, witnessed the changing dynamics in the art practice of three generations of artists, starting from Husain to Ghulam Mohammed Sheikh to the really young lot. The mantra has always been to readapt myself to changing times.

2. When you look back how difficult was it in the initial stages?

It was very difficult initially having no experience of the art market. Many people thought it would be a Art Scene India interviews Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace on its 25th anniversarypassing fancy for a corporate man’s wife but I stuck through. In fact, I remember NS Bendre telling me that it would take me three to four years to establish myself and that is what exactly happened.

3. There are so many galleries does that affect you?

It doesn’t affect me at all. There is space for everyone and newer galleries bring in young energy which is very welcome.

4. When the art market crashed (and it still hasn't recovered!) what were your thoughts?

Like everyone else, it was tough for us as well. We did curb our expenses a bit and did fewer shows for a few months but that was only for a short period. As I said I have always followed my instinct and shown art which I have believed in. Monetary benefit is important but not the prime reason to hold shows.

"I feel artists bare their souls in drawings, these are like musical notes, their mental notes."

5. I remember Manjunath Kamath's show a few years ago, where he drew on the gallery do seem to have an affinity for 'drawings'...

The USP of the gallery has always been the medium based shows. The gallery has done at least five Art Scene India interviews Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace on its 25th anniversaryexhibitions based on drawings starting from Drawing '94, Lyric Line, The Paper Flute to name a few. And now we are ready to have another presentation in the form of Drawing 2014, due to open on November 9, 2014 at IGNCA. Similar has been the case for sculptures and even printmaking, with the gallery putting forward exhibitions like Sculpture '95 and Mini prints respectively. I feel artists bare their souls in drawings, these are like musical notes, their mental notes. Drawings are also the foundation of any art, any discipline. Also the approach to drawings has changed so much, they are no longer pen and ink works, or sketches on paper, For instance, in the 25th anniversary show, we have embroidered drawings by Rakhi Peswani, print-based scrolls by Paula Sengupta, very minimalistic works by Somnath Hore, video by Sonia Khurana, installation by Chintan Upadhyay, a sculptural drawing by Riyas Komu...and so much more – but all celebrating drawings.

6. What was the idea behind having an anniversary show exclusively around the concept of drawings?

I didn’t want to have a regular show and wanted to do one where I could contribute too. Since drawing has been one of my favourite mediums and Espace has consistently been doing exhibitions around this theme, it befits Espace to do this show. It was due to the boom in the market that people have forgotten works on paper and we want to showcase the evolution of drawings that has taken place in seven decades. I also wanted to bust the myth that one cannot invest in drawings.

7. On a personal level, what do you feel are the shifts, if any, in the use of line as a tool in contemporary art?

There has been a circular shift. From using classical lines to using material and technology, there has been a sea change. For instance, Mithu Sen has a light box in the show which lends such a tactile feel to her work. So the time of two-dimensionality in art is over, it’s now about functionality, materiality and performative aspects of drawings that are being looked at.
Art Scene India interviews Renu Modi, Director, Gallery Espace on its 25th anniversary
8. How has the perception and critical appreciation of Indian art changed - for buyers, collectors and viewers in India and abroad?

The art scene over the past 25 years in my view has undergone a 360 degrees change. From something which was unstructured, it’s becoming more structured now. Buyers’ profiles have changed, they are younger and upwardly mobile, they can explore so much over the internet, auction houses have started guiding price lines to some extent, developments in technology have also added changes. Investment in art has grown for sure, especially coming now from the NRI segment.

This interview was coordinated via e-mail.

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Art Scene India completes 8 years this November! Watch out for special posts!!!

18 Dec 2013

Top 10 Posts of 2013: Time to Wrap Up and More

It is mid-December already and it is time to look back at the year gone by and take stock of things - most of which were good!  Indian Art blog saw some major changes this year, some of which were cosmetic (design and layout), some linked to SE optimization, social media presence, content organization and opting for advertisers.  Fortunately, most of these changes have worked out well, although SEO is going to require a lot more effort since the recent updates from Google have had an impact which I’m yet to sort out!
Image-Indian art-Nalini Malaviya
2013: Top Posts on Indian Art blog

Click on the image to zoom
I have made a list of some of this year’s popular posts which were featured on this blog – these are based on the number of pages views, your comments and the number of shares.

9 Jul 2013

Guest Post: Photohappiness

Introducing a new series by guest writers with the first post by Bangalore based photo artist Shibu Arakkal

Photography and its meaning in the midst of a million clicks

The word 'happiness' to me is so synonymous with taking pictures. There is something so exhilaratingly profound about having frozen a slice of time on film or as in these days, digitally. The mere seduction of a thoughtfully crafted photograph emerging out of nowhere in the red of a darkroom is much the reason for my nineteen year love affair.

I have always maintained that we're all so naturally drawn to photography, maybe because it is the most realistic of all two-dimensional visual art forms or maybe like painting or sculpture, there isn't anything particularly intimidating about it. So whether it is that black and white studio portrait of our grand parents' wedding or that iconic album cover of a favourite music CD, certain pictures have forever found a place in our very being, maybe without much realization. It also goes to show how the emotion is so intrinsic to any photograph as its very soul.
It is also why I am rarely surprised when someone decides to quit an MBA degree or their jobs in software to wanting to take pictures for a living.

I think that we also make too much of being able to articulate our emotions for art in general and in critiquing it. Just that we instantly relate to or even in retrospect feel something very strongly for an art work or even don't realize that an art work has imprinted itself into our subconscious means much more than being able to articulate our emotion for it. As such and particularly in photography there are images that we never seem to forget, irrespective of whether there was an appreciable element of technical wizardry or a very simply execution of a great idea.

Image provided by Shibu Arakkal

As there are photographs that have defined times and moments in this world, there are those single shots that can make one's whole life worthwhile. William Albert Allard's portrait of this crying Peruvian boy who lost his sheep to a hit and run taxi moved so many people around the world to chip in and buy the boy a whole new herd. That single portrait was responsible for a lot of lost sleep for a whole lot of people other than everyone who saw it questioning what was right in this world.

The great American landscapes photographed by Ansel Adams stand tall as a monument to high art and have over the years helped to bring great attention to natural conservation in the country. Interestingly and a less known fact, Adams destroyed a lot of his negatives towards the end of his life as he felt that he didn't have enough time to print them himself. It is a certain happiness that you have gained from what you do that dictates what shall eventually happen of the pictures you have taken.

Life's stories in all its variations are almost normal when compared to the ones photographers tell you. It is sometimes an absolute compulsion to take that one elusive picture that has got someone into heaps of trouble or simply a desire to create something that shall live on, that has seen one scale the very heights of photographic yearning.

In such a world seemed to live Bill Brandt, whose artistic interpretation of early twentieth century middle class English life and portraits of great English names in its soul screamed and cried and at the same time glorified all that was so in essence 'English'.

Like the musicians and poets of a time, the photographers are the ones who remind us what things looked like, their interpretation of it, of course.

It is not often in a world of so many do's and don't's, that we experience true liberation of the mind and the soul. Taking a simple, conscious and intentful photograph does that so very often that, pardon the pun but it seems to instantly put things into perspective.

Shibu Arakkal is a Bangalore based photo artist whose work has been shown at the Royal College of Art in London, the Arad International Biennale in Romania, and the National Exhibition of Art in India over a nineteen year career with his works in private and institutional collections in India and abroad.

For more on the artist go to
To follow the artist go to

Also read on Indian Art,

28 Jun 2013

Artfelt Musings

I started this blog Indian Art in 2006 in an effort to reach out to more people. Having been a columnist for Financial Times and Bangalore Mirror, and a contributor to Times of India and many art magazines it seemed logical to republish some of my articles on this blog and to link to those available online. It has been an exhilarating journey since then - with its share of ups and downs.

Most of the time, I have been fairly regular with updating this blog, but there have been phases when postings have been infrequent, especially so in the last year and half. A prior shoulder injury demanded more attention and forced me to take time off not only from this blog but also other work. Incidentally, just to let you know, I have been using a speech recognition software since 2008 for all my writing and it has worked well for me except in instances where short emails are required or when performing actions which require mouse clicks. The reason I’m mentioning this is that it can be a good option for people with any kind of repetitive stress injury.

Well, as clichéd as it sounds, last year has given me time to introspect and to look for alternative, natural modalities of healing. If nothing else, it has definitely provided me with several tools that help in dealing with chronic pain and associated stress. And, that may well become the topic of another blog!

Coming back to Indian Art, I have been fortunate to find support and encouragement from my readers for so many years. Thank you so much! You have no idea how much I appreciate it.

Recently, I decided to redesign and restructure the information on this blog and have been working towards it. You can see a few changes already – the new template and widgets/buttons, and there are some more in the offing. I have retained the title Indian Art, but as you know international artists and exhibitions have been featured in the past and will continue to do so. In fact, I plan to consciously include international news, artists’ profiles, interviews and perhaps even reviews if the logistics can be worked out.

While reorganizing the information, many posts, for instance, about upcoming events, which I believe are redundant now have been deleted and the site has been minimized in size and content. Most of the articles are being extensively categorized and will appear under specific sections. The objective is to make the information easily available and make the entire navigation process smooth and fluid. I will also be adding newer sections which will expand on ‘How to’ on building an art collection, organizing an art exhibition, writing an artist statement and many other topics on investment, décor and so on. Guest blogging will also be introduced shortly and I will be putting up the submission guidelines soon.

One of the challenges in the past has been linked to allocating resources for this blog, and I hope to overcome that by making this site self-reliant. To generate revenue, an ‘Advertiser’ section has been included in the top menu bar offering options for sponsored posts, profiles and reviews. There have been a couple of sponsors already and if you would like to avail of this opportunity please get in touch.

Indian Art was one of the first blogs started by an individual and which covered a range of contemporary themes related to art, and the only reason why we are still here is because of you. During this period of transition, I would love to have feedback and inputs from you and I hope you will ‘share’, ‘like’, ‘tweet’ and ‘subscribe’ to Indian Art. I am relying on you completely to spread the word, so please go ahead and use the power of social media marketing to the hilt! And, don’t forget to drop me a line; I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

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Musings: Art, Books and Summer