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

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!

Related posts,
Artfelt Musings
Musings: Art, Books and Summer 

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.

Related posts,

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.

Related posts,

Musings: Art, Books and Summer