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Art in Every Corner

Art in Every Corner

Every house in the Odisha village of Raghurajpur is a museum

of art and each household has at least one Chitrakar, who is

highly skilled and immensely creative

If you ever happen to be in Puri, or Konark, or nearby, you must visit the heritage crafts village of Raghurajpur situated on the banks of river Bhargabi, in Odisha. Located around 12 km from Puri, the coconut and palm-shaded village is home to around 500 chitrakars, who are experts in Pattachitra painting, an art form which dates back to 5 BC. Prime Minister Narendra Modi gifted French President François Hollande a pattachitra (a cloth-based scroll painting) made in Raghurajpur on silk titled Tree of Life reflecting the societal respect for nature in India on his maiden visit to France in 2015. Before Rath Yatra every year, the deities of Puri’s Jagannath Temple go on a 15-day sabbatical. During this period, a pattachitra – an ancient form of painting made on a ‘treated’ piece of cotton cloth using natural colours – takes the place of the original wooden idols. For generations, this pattachitra has been drawn by artists from the nearby village of Raghurajpur. Every year, during Debasnana Purnima, which marks the onset of one of the biggest festivals in Odisha — the Ratha Jatra — the trinity deities Lord Jagannath, Lord Balabhadra and Devi Subhadra take a bath with 108 pots of cold water to fight the heat of summer. After this, the deities supposedly fall sick for a period of 15 days known as ‘anasara’. During this 15- day period, the deities are absent from public view and pattachitra of the deities made by, chitrakars of Raghurajpur is placed in the Puri Jagannath Temple for the people to pay obeisance.

During this 15-day period of anasara, the deities are absent

from public view and pattachitra of the deities made by

chitrakars of Raghurajpur is placed in the Puri Jagannath

Temple for the people to pay obeisance.

Every house in this Odisha village is a studio and each household has at least one Chitrakar who is highly skilled and immensely creative. Along Raghurajpur’s two streets, amid coconut groves, there are over 100 homes covered in colourful murals — each a museum of art. Apart from pattachitra and palm leaf paintings, you will find artists making papier-mâché toys, masks, coconut crafts, wooden toys, etc. Each family has a distinct style of painting and the craft is passed down through generations. Most children who are 10-11 years old are taught the ancient art form, which their ancestors had been practising for generations. “I have been making pattachitra and palm leaf engravings for the past 35 years. It is my hereditary work, which I have also taught my children. They may not be as fine artisans as the older generation, but will hopefully keep our traditional art form alive,” says Avinash Nayak, who started learning the art when he was just 12.

Apart from the need to introduce synthetic colours, the art has remained unchanged. With art-loving travellers seeking out the craft, artists are replacing traditional long scrolls — that can sometimes be a few feet long — with smaller versions that can be framed in urban homes as souvenirs. The themes of the paintings remain true to their roots, featuring most popularly, the triad of Puri, followed by Lord Krishna. Paintings of the Dasavatars and the Dasa Mahavidyas are also common, as are scenes from mythological texts and stories. In the case of palm leaf engraving, palm leaves (commonly known as talapatra), sourced locally, are used and carved with needles or iron stylus to narrate a story. Pothichitra is a type of palm leaf engraving, which is in the shape of a pothi (book) and has both chitra and words written on it to narrate a story. Even as the village basks in its recent national and international glory, old-timers recall the efforts of Halina Zealey, an American researcher, and their very own Jagannath Mohapatra (winner of President of India’s award in 1965) to create a studio in every household. The village, about 50 km from Bhubaneswar, was initially home to five to six chitrakar families. The fortunes of these artists dwindled at the beginning of the 20th century with the entry of middlemen. Till then, they created pattis for the Lord Jagannath Temple and also sold these at the Bedha Mahal. By the 1950s, only a few old men continued painting. “In 1952, Halina Zealey organised a competition where artists from nearby villages participated. Mohapatra impressed her with a painting on Matsya Avatar (a fish incarnation of the Hindu god Vishnu). But by then, most artists of Raghurajpur had turned labourers who supplied water to betel vines. Mohapatra eked out a living by working as a mason. When the neighbouring Dandasahi villagers joked about it, an aggrieved Mohapatra decided to create an artist in every home,” says Bhagawan Swain of Parampara, an NGO that coordinates the ground-level entrepreneurs of the village. Swain says Zealey understood the need to promote these products to sustain the art form. “She set up Banijya Vikas Kendra in Puri. Before leaving Odisha in 1954, she gave Mohapatra revolving fund to support the cause,” he added. Lakshmidhar Subudi, a Kala Puraskar awardee for his Thalachitra (carving done on palm leaves and filling it with black colour) for his art of Krishna Leela, says,”These days the art form has got commercialised. The artists have adapted to the modern society and their needs. They paint things the customer wants. Ultimately it is the struggle for bread and butter.”

In fact, the region is also home to the beautiful art form Gotipua, precursor to the Indian classical dance form of Odissi. It has been performed in Odisha for centuries by young boys, who dress up as women to praise Lord Jagannath and Lord Krishna. The dance is executed by a group of boys who perform acrobatic figures inspired by the life of Radha and Krishna. The dance form is a mixture of Odissi classical dance and Mahari style (which was once devoted by Devadasis, to Lord Jagannath). Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra, the much-awarded exponent of Odissi dance, was born in Raghurajpur. In his youth, he performed Gotipua. Later in his life, he did extensive research on Gotipua and Mahari style, which led him to restructure Odissi dance. He was the first to be awarded Padma Vibhushan from Odisha. At the far end of the village, stand two organisations that have been nurturing Gotipua with all its pristine flavour and glory—Dasabhuja Gotipua Odissi Nrutya Parishad and Abhinna Sundar Gotipua Nrutya Parishad.Dasabhuja Gotipua Odishi Nrutya Parisad was established in 1977 by Guru Maguni Charan Das, a Padma Shri awardee and recipient of Odisha Sangeet Natak Akademi award, and the dance school has played a lead role in the revival of the form. Sebendra Das, brother of Guru Maguni Das, currently runs the Dasabhuja Parishad. He explains the relevance of the dance form. “Gotipua is an amalgamation of two Odia words; Goti means single and Pua means boy. When the dance of the Maharis and the Devadasis of the Jagannath Temple at Puri disintegrated due to various reasons, young boys from various ‘akhadas’ were trained to take the tradition forward. Earlier, Gotipua used to be performed by a single boy, but over the years it evolved as a group dance.” Late Guru Laxman Maharana set up Abhinna Sundar Gotipua Nrutya Parishad, which has been working for the promotion and popularisation of the ancient dance form for 19 years. In 2000, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) declared Raghurajpur a ‘heritage village’, which has helped the artists explore other traditional art forms as well. Near to Raghurajpur is another village named Dandasahi, which has the potential of becoming a heritage village of tomorrow. A small village of about 50 households, Dandasahi is on the side of the historical road, through which Sri Chaitanya had travelled to Puri.

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The Power of the Written Word

The Power of the Written Word

Pushpamala N’s latest solo show comprises two distinct sets of works

based on the common thread of scripts which seem contrary in nature;

one is like shasanas: a practice associated with power and the other with

resistance, says Saraswathy K Bhattathiri

One of the most thought-provoking artists in the contemporary art scene, Bengaluru-based Pushpamala N, who exhibits widely in India and abroad, works with various mediums like performance, photos, sculpture, curation and writing. In her latest solo show titled ‘Epigraphica Indica’ at Gallery Sumukha, Bengaluru, from March 12 – April 16, 2022, she displayed how the written word wields its power in everyday life. Two sets of exhibits were part of the show — ‘Atlas of Rare and Lost Alphabets (2015-2018)’ and ‘Nara/slogans (2020-2022). The former is a set of 100 installations, which was inspired by a vitrine containing ancient inscriptions incised on copper plates while on her visit to the archeological museum of Bengaluru. The act of transcribing the letters is articulated as a performative act reminiscent of scribes copying manuscripts in mediaeval libraries. She brings in references of anthropologist James C Scott’ s terminology and ideas on Hidden Transcripts, which is connected to mysterious languages of resistance and cultural preservation contextual in time. Nara is a set of 50 works that commemorates slogans and poems of recent popular protests in India. These are designed in various styles like that of Russian posters, books, dialogue boxes and graph pages using various typographies. In both the series, words and images are etched into copper plates and treated with brown and greenish patinas.

The former series takes an appearance of ancient scripts/alphabets of different languages like Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, Urdu etc., refuting to assign to any essential meanings. She sustains a mysterious nature of the work which encloses an inability to decipher them. More than a linguistic challenge, this recalls the history of scripts that begins from primitive pictographs. Pushpamala’a work also recalls the last three decades of archival turn in contemporary art. Archives broadly are considered to be physical manifestations of history. These fabricated archives, which are mimetic versions of inscriptions, and manuscripts/shasanas, give a possibility of a humorous and fictive narrative of what happens if these were excavated in future and epigraphists struggle to decipher them. It lies somewhere between a wholesome fiction style of Eve Laramee’s works and Hanne Draboven’s notion of observing archival tendencies in cultural history. The ‘Atlas of Rare and Lost Alphabets’ moves contrary to artistic practices within the archive as it doesn’t use actual archive materials to advocate testimony or identity. The notion of authenticity/essentiality of ideas through script can see a wide range association with masculinity and hegemony embedded in the making of history and culture.

The artist associates these works with the subaltern voice, or probably a secret language formed as a resistance to hegemonic social structures that calls out for a disintegration of sound/script patterns. This is in concern that the language of the underprivileged was oral and fluid in nature. A disintegrated language is a ruin with epistemological mystery. Pushpamala recreates memoirs of Bengaluru based on the settings of ruins (of past and possible ruins of future) rather than a glorious past by taking inspiration from Walter Benjamin’s Arcades Project where he observes, Paris not as a developing city but as ruins.

Derrida in his essay Archive Fever a Freudian Impression connects ‘archive’ with both commencement (of subjects) and (gods/ men does) commandment. Rock edicts have been part of such archival practices and epistemological studies later on. Writing on rocks have therefore been historically connected to divinity or part of a hegemony related practice as in the case of Ten Commandments by Moses or Codes of Hammurabi. The Atlas series can be seen as a mutated version of what Derrida addresses. In Nara, the artist uses slates. Slate’s etymological references take us to French esclat, which means split piece: technically slates are splits of rocks. Nara’s slates address protests against discrimination and violence against women, minorities and proletarians in India in past few years. Its material influence is from rock inscription, which is older than copper plates but the sense of mobility adopted from the latter. These two works seem contrary in nature; one is like shasanas: a practice associated with power and the other with resistance. Here, the juxtaposition of these two series articulates that the slate seems to be split from monolithic rocks to give voice to the diverse and oppressed. Nara replaces erasable chalk with etching, which makes it a contemporary inscription and evokes a social discourse. Here she brings in a contrast of old ways of knowledge, which were grounded in centralised elitist attitudes and modern education, which attempts to consciously create equilibrium in future.

The Atlas series also has few botanical drawings, drawings taken from European mediaeval manuscripts, etchings of Francisco Goya and Indus Valley images. They decline illustrative assistance to the text but aids in recalling the extensive history of text and image links. Whereas in Nara, the images and texts are decipherable even for common men. This leads to linguistic contrasts as the former consist of mimetic versions of ancient Indian languages and the latter has English and Hindi; languages that contest with each other yet refer to a modern and collective sense of expression. It leads to questions like, is there a call for abandoning the past and realising the present? It fetches in an attempt for double discourse: archival as art and artworks as archives. While one can observe the emphasis on details like shaping the metal, etching, wax casting and threads on book format installations to simulate a museum work culture; which goes beyond mere representation, it faces the same issue as the reading of Freud’s Moses as historical novel based on which the implementation of archive cannot be sheltered. It seems to be in a liminus state of being an art or archive. If the work seems to call out for devising scripts for the scriptless, it might also seem to assert script as an essential aspect of epistemology.

The artist’s works are in the collections of MOMA (New York), Tate Modern (UK), NGMA, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art etc. She has also been a recipient of various prestigious awards.

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The Palette of Dreamss

Bright, sparkly, rippling with life and energy, bursting with love and longing, artist Samir Sarkar’s paintings are sheer poetry written with colours
TEXT: TEAM ART SOUL LIFE

For many artists, the idea that acrylics belong in a kindergarten classroom rather than an established painter’s studio begins in art school. Professors have been known to drill art students with unspoken rules like “don’t paint a large sculpture red,” “don’t put a circle in the middle of a composition,” and “serious painters use oils, not acrylics.” This final generalisation, passed down from one pompous painter to the next, is, in many ways, a grave misfortune. “For the past 25 years, acrylic colour has been the main medium for my paintings,” says Kolkata-based contemporary artist Samir Sarkar. “After doing the line drawing on paper or canvas, and many layers of colour, the subjects and people are slowly given shape using more layers of colour,” he says. Since he uses fast colours, Sarkar says his figures have a definite brightness about them. “They are inspired from Egyptian paintings; thus, the figures are drawn in the same form, the clothes they wear have long lines making them look taller and, in a way, Egyptian. Most of my paintings are of 42½X48½ size, which takes about 100 hours to complete,” he informs. If you look at his work, it’s like sheer poetry written with colours.

Bright, sparkly, rippling with life and energy, bursting with love and longing. Vivacious yet leaving you with a sense that real life would struggle to match up with those colourful renditions. Using strong visual elements and bright colours, his artwork makes you want to just sit there and get lost in the fantasy world. An Armyman’s son, Sarkar remembers having to change cities every two-three year’s during his childhood. While most teenagers would hate relocation because they have to leave their friends behind, move to a new school and start life all over again, it wasn’t the case with Sarkar. Being a born dreamer, to him the pleasure of travelling and seeing new cities was too strong to regret leaving the old behind. Relocating from one army base to another allowed him to explore many cities and its culture, while feeding the budding artist inside him. Each city that he lived-in, helped him grow his visual experiences, picking up bits and pieces before he moved along. Also, according to Sarkar, “Travelling so much as a kid forced me to get better at communication and understanding human behaviour.” This exposure to different cities and its culture has paid him good dividends, because it has allowed his work to connect with the people and reflect on the society we live in. He showed early promise when he started painting and sketching in school. “When I was in 8th standard, I had a classmate called Raju, who was brilliant at art. His work fascinated me. It made me wonder how he could use simple strokes to make beautiful artwork that brimmed with life,” he recalls. Inspired by his young friend, Sarkar started on his own artistic journey as a little curious kid looking for a medium to tell his stories. While he started learning by himself, living in Kolkata, he happened to be residing in the vicinity of some leading Indian artists. Persistent to learn and improve his work, he would simply land up at their house asking for advice and suggestions to improve his work. His dedication paid off and he joined a diploma of visual art programme at the Academy of Fine Arts (Kolkata). Soon, he was doing solo shows and exhibitions, building his own signature style. In 1996, he met Mother Teresa. He was so moved by what she was doing that he started working with her NGO, Tomorrows Foundation. Being one of its founding members, their goal was to help kids on the streets. Tomorrow’s Foundation is committed to all-round development of children from underprivileged backgrounds to help them become self-reliant and enjoy their right to a dignified life.

Sarkar was instrumental in the development of the ‘TF Card Project’, a way to bring about economic independence for the children from Kalighat brothels (a red-light district in Kolkata), streets and slums. Working with the organisation for many years helped him a great deal as an artist. It allowed him to better understand human emotions and the power of bringing a smile on someone’s face. According to him, “I never understood humans could have such humility and simplicity. When you work with these children, they will tell you stories, which are often filled with pain. It makes you appreciate life a lot more.” Experiences like these give you the strength to wake up every day and want to bring a positive change in the world you live in, and for Sarkar, the medium for change is his canvas. Besides the story and the bright colours, one of the most fascinating things about his artwork is the headgear. Sarkar believes that the headgear is a symbol of power. It helps an individual stand out; but it’s more than just a fashion statement. It puts an additional responsibility on the bearer, sending out a message to the world, giving hope to people from different walks of life. “All my paintings have people wearing some headgear that has a face painted on them, which depicts the double-faced nature of people. Like what we see in some professions where people wear uniforms like policemen, nurses, army personnel or the Pope. It’s the headgear that represents their identity. Likewise, in my painting, the headgears are the depiction of our true identity,” he explains. “It’s the true fact of our inner soul. And people can wear a face that may be different from the real one. People do carry multiple masks to hide their true nature, and eventually put up what suits them in this momentary world, concealing the actual character of their personality.” Like a story, Sarkar’s paintings have a lot of themes and messages, but they all revolve around strong emotions and relationships. He usually tries to depict these strong emotions through the human face he paints. He says that many of his paintings show two faces, which depicts multiple characteristics that each individual depicts when interacting with different people. “We are not the same when we deal with different people. Humans have learnt to react depending on who they are engaging with,” says Sarkar. According to him, “Music brings harmony to life and helps connect our senses.” As far as family is concerned, he says that “I have seen so many broken families that I try to show family bonding, affection and love, hoping that maybe my painting would bring about a positive change.”

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The Unity of Arts

A four-day multi-faceted arts festival at IGNCA provides artists, art connoisseurs an opportunity to understand, appreciate and facilitate the birth of new forms of art TEXT: TEAM ART SOUL LIFE

There are numerous examples of architects also engaging in visual arts and visual artists designing buildings. From Leonardo da Vince to Michelangelo and Le Corbusier to Satish Gujral – all have excelled in all forms of creative expression. While architects have an eye for colour, form, texture, and space, visual artists use colours and geometries of mundane objects to craft paintings and sculpture. To further illustrate this unity of arts achieved through the integration of architecture, design and visual arts, one only has to visit the houses designed by late Satish Gujral: “To live in a house designed by him is not easy, for it is not simply brick and mortar, but is indeed a living sculpture, to hold life in all its myriad moods,” remarked a critic.

Twenty-eight years old Dushyant Joshi is one such bright architect whose foray into design and art came about after he got a chance to work on the set for the Bollywood film Panipat directed by Ashutosh Gowariker. The stint enabled him to explore set design in greater depth, and designer Masoom Rizvi helped him to further deepen his understanding of the elements of design and the essence of curation.

artsoullifemagazineTo give an expression to his newly formed interest, Dushyant founded ART Amigos with the aim to provide all aspiring and established visual artists with the platform, opportunities and support to help them thrive and build a culture conducive for their growth.

Last month in May Dushyant curated a unique exhibition ’Palash’- a festival of arts at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, Janpath Hotel, New Delhi. This multidimensional show provided artists and art connoisseurs an opportunity to understand, appreciate and to facilitate the birth of new forms of art. Over 40 artists such as Makhan Saha, Geeta Dass, Binu Gupta, Prince Chand and Rashmi Malhotra displayed their work. There were also 45 stalls put up by the artists belonging to different schools and styles.

artsoullifemagazineThe workshops held as part of the exhibition were to initiate visitors into learning and appreciating works of art. Dushyant credits Shubjit, Arjit and Sagrika for the valuable help extended in mounting this magnificent show.

Last year Dushyant was awarded at the festival of Architecture & Design in the category of young creative minds. Going by the knowledge and the commitment that Dushyant brings to his new found endeavour, it is only a matter of time before ART Amigos receives due recognition in promoting art and culture, and emerges as a leading transparent and credible marketplace, particularly for the young aspiring artists. For Dushyant, an exhibition is in many ways a series of conversations between the artist and viewer, curator and viewer, and between the works of art themselves. To him, architecture is not so much a “knowledge of form but a form of knowledge.”

Dushyant has to live up to the rich reputation that his parents enjoy in the society: Dr. Sachidanand and Malavika Joshi, who are both noted literary figures and connoisseurs of art and culture.

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Gandhi’s ideals, Buddha’s Inspiration

Earthy Hues showcases sculptures and artworks inspired by human evolution and nature featuring artists Anki Bhutia and G. Reghu

New Delhi-based One Of Eight Art Projects and Art Magnum art gallery joined hands to present Earthy Hues, a beautiful showcase of earthy sculptures and artworks aligned with the nature and human evolution from April 28, 2022, till May 6, 2022, at at Bikaner House, CCA Building, New Delhi.

Tarun Khanna, Founder, One Of Eight Projects, and Saurabh Singhvi, Director, Art Magnum, curated the show with works of Kerala-based G. Reghu, a prolific sculptor, and Anki Bhutia, who is known for her nature-inspired paintings, on display. “We are delighted to associate with both the artists and provide them a platform for showcasing their talent. We hope to delight all the art lovers by amalgamating Gandhian philosophy and Buddhism inspiration incorporated by Reghu and Anki Bhutia in their artworks respectively. We aim to bring diverse cultures to one platform,” said Khanna at the start of the show. Reghu’s creations for the show were influenced by the artist’s own agricultural upbringing as well as the Gandhian ideal of working with local materials. The figures were doll-like and used traditional folk motifs, such as women and children at play, with expressions of joy or wonder. His Indian village roots were reflected in the muted organic earth colours and matte finish. Bhutia, originally from Sikkim, grew up in the pristine lap of nature, and so, the palette used was a vibrant imitation of nature, as seen in rocks, streams, sunshine, fires, forests, and avian feathers. Her brush strokes are enticing, and the canvas spaces were divided into colour slots, much like a prism, held up to the light within. The textures created by her tonal applications traced the journey of a pilgrim on the path to self-discovery, where each landmark along the way is marked with a hue of light and life, making the painting an interesting tracery, actualising one’s personal journey through life. “For all the art lovers seeking a way out to transcend into a magical time and escape reality for a few minutes, Earthy Hues can definitely offer them the opportunity to do so. The artworks are extraordinary and have been put together with a vision in mind. The two artists complement each other and come together seamlessly as a showcase that is going to leave you spellbound,” said Singhvi.

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BEAUTY IN A BLUR

A. Viswam’s art disparages the linear theory of mechanical abstracts and goes beyond conventions of primal change. His abstracts are a free flow of stories, travels and association with rituals.

The abstract art medium first came into the picture at the crossover of the twentieth century. It is an exceptional style of art that breaks away from canons as embodied in real-life figures and identified movement of figures and elements. There are artists and creators who have taken it upon themselves to take the art world by storm with their expansive art movements and techniques in beautiful abstracts. One of those veterans in space is A. Viswam. He is a master who started his journey in a small village in South India. He studied at the Kumbakonam College of Arts, and currently lives in Chennai with his family.

Viswam creates his brilliant works in an art avenue with other gifted artists in Padappai, a town near Chennai. His knowledge of diverse traditional techniques with mythological and pastoral paintings ruled the canvases in his hometown and the places he painted as a young adult. The artist once worked with the Weavers Service Centre along with other talented artists and sculptors from different parts of India. He was also a student of the acclaimed and respected Tamil Nadu artist S. Dhanapal (1919-2000). Viswam was accustomed to an imperial array of creating art from figurative elements to temples, architectural abundance and ranges, institutions with exquisite energy and a traditional selection of examples from art teachers. His heart, however, coaxed him to venture into his own world of abstract art and performances. They dance together and play with paint and knife strokes as they reciprocate, with the canvas. “Abstract is a dance of colours, dots into lines and linear moves into stunning moods, subjective and personal,” the artist states. Over his experience spanning five decades in the world of art and creativity, he has won several awards at art academies, including the state award (1992) followed by a national award (1995) and has international honours to his credit. Displays of his mesmerising works have celebrated a variety of exhibitions in and outside India. Inimitable art, an assortment of shades and creations stimulate a continuous, rare, sequined journey of his paintings. Every element of nature and life motivates him to create his poignant canvases. His abstract form expresses the thunder and tamed forces of nature he often describes as moods of our Earth. “Abstract art never ends,” he says, “It just continues to swap souls and linger.” A. Viswam’s art depicts nature in abstract forms: skyscapes, landscapes, wind and commotion, wonderful waves and vicious beauty. His paintings, concurrently, evoke a sense of calm as one drifts through thoughts. The artist’s actions resemble those elements as he moves, applying colours directly to the canvas and sweeping diagonal, vertical, and horizontal strokes to create his vision in prominence. The tones of colour produced on his canvases are dominated by one shade that is followed by minimal patterns of the stark contrast in hues and vibrancy. In the spread of abstracts as art, historical movements are considered to be the foundation of the Avant-Garde Modern idea in the west and represent a rejection or a dissolution of the traditionally accepted sense-data of the visible world.

Geometric abstraction often favoured the impersonal, technological and mathematical over the expressive qualities of the most prior art. Simultaneously in Europe, abstraction took on a metaphysical or religious concern. The movement cited colour and form as the inspiration for a more meditative and humanist bent. Nevertheless, Viswam’s art disparages the linear theory of mechanical abstracts and goes beyond conventions of primal change. His abstracts are a free flow of stories, travels and association with rituals. Art as expression, feeling and beauteous style is also significant in the investment class with the days of digitalisation and asset creation as well as encourages the growth of abstracts in art. It is the most expensive art form to purchase and display as a value addition to the aesthetics of places, asset creation, subjective stance, inter border communication, modern art capabilities, and speculation as part of the future of the art universe. As a devotee of abstracts, Viswam beautifully supports the “cherished art form” despite his education in traditional techniques. He says, “My journey started with a semi-abstract. Figures often move from one place to another and in order to create that, an element needs to flow. I have been consistent with my work, leaping from an amateur painter to a known creator in the art world. I can never plan in order to create. Painting is like breathing: unplanned and unconventional.” Viswam possesses a very energetic and outgoing persona, which is aptly reflected in his attention seeking vivacious brushstrokes. “My paintings never finish; they only change forms on a new canvas. It is upon the admirers of art to understand my perception. They understand the language of art and I believe we have a lot of artistic potential in India,” the artist says. “Among other mediums and techniques, light is severely important for me, though I keep alternating as per my conversations with the paint and platform. My canvases invite me to make a painting. The same forms are never repeated. It is not even possible. I often think of responding to elements of society. Life and nature teach me a lot about my expressions in paintings. It is like a domino effect of splashes of hues,” he adds. Viswam remains in rendezvous with his art and frequently leaves one desiring to watch him paint and carry his series of coloured canvases in tender memory.

The artist is represented by Easel Stories Art Gallery, Noida

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Dhoad to the top

Hailing from Dhod village in Sikar district of Rajasthan, musician Rahis Bharti is making India proud throughout the world with Rajasthan folk music, songs and dances
TEXT: TEAM ART SOUL LIFE

I had an amazing time tonight. Dhoad troupe is absolutely fantastic. I felt I was in Rajasthan itself,” said Nimisha Patel in California, USA after the performance of Rahis Bharti and his Dhoad band. “I didn’t expect this programme to be so spectacular – dances, music, the musicians, table players, the women were amazing,” said another Indian woman from the audience.

Rahis Bharti, since childhood had a great liking for the folk music of Rajasthan as it was in his blood due to his family being in music for seven generations. Despite being born in a poor family, he had dreamt big to introduce Rajasthani folk music to the entire world and today his dream has translated into a proud success story. Today Bharti with his Dhoad Band is making India proud throughout the world with Rajasthan folk music, songs and dances.

Hailing from Dhod village in Sikar district of Rajasthan, Bharti 20 years ago set up his band named ‘Dhoad’. He took the Rajasthani folk music across the world single-handedly and also gave opportunities to local artists from Rajasthan at them international level.

‘Love how you are promoting Indian culture and dance all over the world, Rahis. Tucson is so fortunate to have experienced your show. Dhoad: The Gypsies of Rajasthan, at our gorgeous and historical FOX Theatre…… The Crown Jewel of Tucson’, tweeted Neelam Sethi. LP, Pop Rock Star singer from the USA said, “I love the Dhoad Gypsies. They are incredible and each one of them has talent.” He had performed with Dhoad Band for a 2 lakh audience in Festival Notte de la Taranta, Italy. Bharti said, “I have performed over 2500 concerts and shows in more than 110 countries. So far, it has provided an international platform to around 700 local artists from Rajasthan and empowering them for the last 20 years. My objective is to bring local artists and dance forms of Rajasthan to the international platform and get them recognition. I want to preserve and popularise the traditional folk music worldwide and is appreciated all over.” This reflects how a man, born in a poor, simple and traditional family has contributed not only to the field of folk music but also empowering the local artists. It is because of the vision and mission of Bharti that Rajasthani music is well known and liked by millions of people worldwide today.

Padma Shri Gulabo Sapera, Kalbeliya dancer from Rajasthan, who introduced the famous Kalbeilya dance to the world said, “I feel so happy that there are people like Bharti in the world who appreciate this art and feed thousands of homes of the folk artists in India. Today thousands of girls are dancing because of Bharti and they go with him to perform in different countries.”

My objective is to bring local artists and dance forms of Rajasthan to the international platform and get them recognition. I want to preserve and popularise the traditional folk music worldwide and is appreciated all over.

She said that Bharti is doing a lot to keep folk music, songs and dances alive and is doing his best to promote them. Some 50-60 folk artists stay with him. Each folk artist must be having at least 10 members in their family and because of Bhatri, each artist is able to feed his family members, Sapera added.

Ajeet Khan, from Akhepura village near Makrana in Nagaur district of Rajasthan, sings and plays dholak in Dhoad Band. He said, “I am illiterate and it was Bharti who took me to foreign countries to perform. I got a chance to perform before the Queen of Norway and I felt very happy.”

Bharti created history when he performed in Disneyland Paris where an audience of more than 5 million witnessed Indian music and dance performances. Bharti’s team performed for 4 months in 2019 in Disneyland, becoming the first team to represent India there. He is the creator and director of various programs performed by the legendary Bollywood Masala Orchestra – Spirit of India, Jaipur Maharaja Brass Band and Chalaang – drummers of India.Dhoad has performed for the Welcoming Ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Paris in 2015 and in Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in London, Former President of India Honorable APJ Kalam Azad during his visit in Jaipur 2012 in Science Park.

Other performances of DHOAD include the one for the President of France François Hollande; for the Prime minister of France Édouard Philippe; Président of Croatia Ivo Josipovic in Croatia in 2013 and in the private birthday party of Mick Jagger, the lead vocalist of the legendary rock band ‘The Rolling Stones’. He has won many awards at national and international awards. His journey from a small village of Rajasthan to the international platform has impressed Frenchman Martine le Coz, who has written a book on Bharti’s life. The book titled ‘Rajasthan’s heartbeat Rahis Bharti’ is written in French and will be out in April this year.

It is because of the vision and mission of Bharti that Rajasthani music is well known and liked by millions of people worldwide today.

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A Force of Nature, Light, and Shadows

Artist Shuvankar Maitra’s work is not just about immortalizing a scenery or bringing his vision to form. He captures seasons, the transitions in nature, and the resilience of trees by artfully playing with elements of light and shadow. Author and poet Hermann Hesse once rightly noted, “Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth.” Trees are humanity’s placid reminder and sturdy companion. They accurately represent the qualities that most people aspire to embody; they are both brave and beautiful. It is in these sanctuaries that artist Shuvankar Maitra, a BFA from the Government College of Art & Craft, Kolkata, found his inspiration and learned the truth. He expounds, “Trees form the major source of my inspiration combined with the various seasons. All trees are symbols of stability.” This inspiration is evident in his acrylic paintings of nature.

The paintings, with their coherent and meticulous portrayals of trees, captivate the viewer. They bear the simplistic flair of the environment combined with its intricate complexities. He achieves this through the microscopic circles made using rotary pens and the layers of colours that he amplifies with light. Pink remains the colour of the most prominent leaves, displaying a poised and poetic interpretation of the trees’ temperament. The leaves stand out as pleasant and tranquil. The trees’ reflection in the still, sparkling water is unperturbed to convey the characteristic the artist admires most: stability.

Turn your attention to the expert strokes of light and shadow, and one can immediately infer the season and location of the artwork. The layers of colour are unmissable to the naked eye and lend a sense of completeness to the tableau. The work emits a glow that cannot be ignored or forgotten. The quiet disposition with which the painting makes a statement is telling of the hand that painted it. Not often does one get the chance to experience a work of art that reaches out and pulls them in to be a part of the larger picture. That is the power of Maitra’s artwork.

Maitra is among the many who are filled with childlike wonder when they approach nature. For him, it is the trees that leave him enraptured. True to his profession, he stood as no exception when it came to recognising, replicating, and recreating the beauty of what was present. In doing so, he displayed exceptional style and technique that encapsulates the virtues of nature in all its glory. Maitra is no novice. He is well-versed with the fact that, like life, art’s true meaning has multiple layers. His signature technique evokes this sentiment by creating art using layers of paint that start with tiny circles. At the outset, he captures the scenery through his sketch, which serves as the foundation for his painting. His arsenal — a fine rotary pen — gives form to the trees on paper in the form of minute circles.

Once satisfied with the blueprint, Maitra, armed with his brush, finally breathes life into his sketch using a well-thought-out, delicate melange of colours. Layering them using sparing brush strokes, he strives to create a work of art that welcomes the beholder into his masterpiece while keeping them at arm’s length to not tamper with his imagination. His paintings are not simply about immortalising a scenery or bringing his vision to form; no, it’s much more. He captures seasons, the transitions in nature, and the resilience of trees by artfully playing with elements of light and shadow. Be it blossoming in spring or standing unwhitened by the winter chill, bearing fruit in the summer, or renewing in the autumn, the trees in Maitra’s paintings capture these evolutions while also celebrating them.

All of us have grown up with nature all around us, but only a few of us have understood it. Even fewer have understood it enough to accurately reconstruct it for the world’s wide-eyed admiration of something otherwise so seemingly mundane. Maitra is among those specialised few. Of his ability to reconstruct nature and its unlimited possibilities, he notes, “There is more to trees than pretty flowers, delicious fruits, and relaxing shade. That is a very powerful message, which I try to express through my paintings.” And he expresses that convincingly and with ease. This skill is testimony to Maitra’s exceptional comprehension of light and colour. It comes as no surprise once you enter the artist’s realm of understanding art which is expansive, to say the least. Revealing a mere iota of the magician’s trick, he says, “I use dark and light shades to bring out the depths of the leaves and to reflect the changing atmospheric conditions.”

Art celebrates the ever-changing world; it celebrates humanity, nature, and the relationships they share. Maitra’s works are a testimony to the timelessness of these relationships. It places the trees in the position of a teacher or an edifier, and rightfully so. He believes that trees are compelling representations of sense and stability that encourages him to depict them in such light. By looking at the painting, one can deduce that the artist is, indeed, incredibly gifted. But he is also driven and determined to express himself. It’s the sign of a one-of-a-kind virtuoso. The use of vibrant colours, light, and fine details will leave you feeling inspired; it will make you appreciate this artist’s hard work. After all, art is hours and hours of patience, skill, and creativity. It involves layers — eight to twelve, to be exact — of colours and an understanding of depth like no other. ore over his work, and one will be hard-pressed to find any flaws when it comes to accurately capturing distance, depth, and shades. One glance reveals the mastery he has over style, technique, and emotion. When it comes to brushing strokes, he is reserved with his approach. Paring it back to let the million tiny circles created by the rotary pen and the dabs of acrylic do their work. He uses light and shadow to punctuate his setting and inform his viewers of the time and place. It is his romance with nature and art that leads us seamlessly into his poignant world.

– The artist is represented by Easel Stories Art Gallery, Noida

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Mumbai Shows The Way

Mumbai Gallery Weekend presented by leading contemporary galleries, is back to woo motivated collectors, curators, museum professionals and art enthusiasts
TEXT: TEAM ART SOUL LIFE

Mumbai Gallery Weekend (MGW) makes a triumphant return this year offering far more to the amateur aesthetes, who descend here for a dose of the best art they can find. Thanks to its cheery patronage of the fine arts, it began in 2012 as a collaborative initiative bythe city’s leading contemporary art galleries. The aim was to inject fresh energy into the art scene in Mumbai. The scope of MGW has evolved over time to include new galleries and cultural spaces. The endeavour, however, has remained the same – to bring together potential art collectors and enthusiasts in order to broaden the reach and relevance of contemporary art. Currently, in its tenth edition, the event—an annual fixture on the city’s cultural calendar—has witnessed several uncertainties during the COVID-19 pandemic. This year too, the art showcase was to take place in January, but due to the Omicron wave, it was shifted to February. But now 23 galleries —from both midtown and South Mumbai—have opened their doors to art enthusiasts with new exhibitions of contemporary art. The Directors / Curators of six museums in India also came together to discuss the future of their institutions. They talked about how a variety of public and private museums are strategizing in unprecedented times and with evolving audience expectations as part of Mumbai Gallery Weekend 2022.

To start, Kamalnayan Bajaj Art Gallery presented Ufuq, a special tribute exhibition to the late artist Zarina Hashmi curated by Dr Arshiya Lokhandwala. Ufuq or horizon in Urdu is a 2001 woodcut by the artist in which she views “the horizon as the ultimate goal of the travelling soul.” Being one of the first feminist artists from South Asia to work within a minimalist repertoire, Zarina’s vast body of work relates to the contested world order of borders, boundaries, and disputed territories in which her memories are represented as maps and constellations. Artists participating in the exhibition are Anita Dube, Ankush Safaya, Astha Butail, Hemali Bhuta, Mithu Sen, Parul Gupta, Shaurya Kumar, Shambhavi Singh, Shreyas Karle, and Waqas Khan. Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke presents “Where do we come from?”, Sosa Joseph’s third solo exhibition at the gallery — on view from January 13 to February 26, 2022 — in which she presents a body of 15 new oil on canvas paintings that were completed between 2019-21. Joseph was born and raised in a village in southern Kerala, in a house right by the river. “For us, it all began with the river. It flowed through us every day, every moment”, she says. “The present body of work is my visual exploration of this riverine world, where my memory begins. The river’s ecosystem inspired my imagination, intensified my experience of nature, informed my worldview, influenced my aesthetic, and even gave me my sense of colours and textures. I am deeply thankful. Apart from the geography, the motifs herein seem to recall people and events I knew of, and therefore seem narrative in some sense. However, portraiture or storytelling is not my motive here. It’s a remembrance of the riverine aesthetic that swathed and swamped my early existence. In that sense, these canvases are largely landscapes, thought of reminiscence.” Sosa says she was always interested in painting, not graphics, or sculpture. She prefers to paint than to comment. She explains that her imagery, which from the works in the studio includes, a Pieta like figure of a women holding the body of her dead son, a mad patriarch, a traffic accident, a poem by Bertolt Brecht about infanticide, and a rural scene with cricket and ducks, arises out of the colours and the forms of the paint, which she physically moulds on the canvas like clay, or Expressionist plasticine.

Coming to Sakshi Gallery, it’s showcasing ‘Con-contemporary,’ Jaipur-based Siddhartha Kararwal’s first solo show. The thought provoking, subversive yet surprisingly unexpected and witty works of Kararwal are a probe into the existential dualities of the current multiplex cultural fabric. They are explorations of time now, overflowing with whimsical and fantastical characters; they are a unique take on the underbelly of what is produced, consumed and trashed in today’s culture. Siddhartha deconstructs these layers, rips it apart then reconstructs works that plumbs the depths of our hyper consumer society.

Curated by Nancy Adajania, Art Musings presents ‘Savage Flowers’, a solo exhibition of Smriti Dixit. The exhibition presents Dixit’s sculptures at a point when the artist has come powerfully into her own. The exhibition features site-specific installations and sculptures, woven, variously, from plastic tags and strings of fabric: everyday materials found, made, recycled and upcycled. Dixit’s work points to the complicated slippage between the spiritual and the commercial, the organic and the industrial, the sustainable and the unsustainable. It gestures towards the struggle for survival in which the human and non-human species are engaged, on a fragile planet that they must share.

Marking the 10th death anniversary of artist Vijay Shinde, Tao Art Gallery is showcasing the late artist’s works. On view till March 15, 2022, the show explores Shinde’s expansive artistic trajectory. The works remind us of his words said in 1996: “Often an artist’s life is reflected through their work, the art becoming an almost memoir of paths explored, experiences had and emotions felt. Shinde’s art too is a living, dynamic and eternal embodiment of him, allowing the viewer a glimpse into the expansive internal world that once existed. His strong dialogue with spirituality and philosophy as a personal quest comes through and is relevant even today. Rather than an end goal, the creation of art was in itself a process of exploration and liberation for him: “l looks for no meaning in my paintings because my paintings depict all that my mind looks for, rendering me speechless.” Cymoza art gallery presents Ritesh Uttamchandani’s A Lease of Life, curated by Ranjit Hoskote, which is a series of photographs dedicated to the afterlives of political posters, the strange and unpredictable processes of recycling by which they are turned into awnings, backdrops to tea stalls, working surfaces in markets, and mats for pavement dwellers. These images capture the raw materiality of an economy premised on ingenious improvisations. They also convey a poignant allegorical charge. Sic transit gloria mundi, they remind us through their ironic portrayal of the Ozymandias syndrome. Alongside these images, A Lease of Life invites viewers to consider another axis of Uttamchandani’s work: a series of images from his book, The Red Cat and Other Stories. These images juxtapose the paradoxes of the megalopolis, which sustain his work: the found and the made; the posed and the spontaneous; suffering as variably experienced by the vulnerable and the voluntary. A Lease of Life bears witness to the plural practice of a contemporary photographer: as a photojournalist and an archivist of the elusive and fugitive moment; as a maker of images and a producer of books and zines; as a composer of brief, pithy texts that complement his photographs and books.

Mumbai-based Saju Kunhan’s practice lies at the clever intersection of medium, process and archive, creating visual articulations of the important question of who dictates historical narrative and the concurrent subtext of what is left behind along the path of history-making. For his second solo show at Tarq, titled Home Ground, he articulates his musings through a meticulous process of developing a personal visual archive, from which he cherry-picks to create his rendition of a historical document.

As described by Saju,”Through these works what I am trying to communicate are my concerns of history, migration, displacement, conquest and colonialism. Moreover, I am connecting my work to politics and power as well as environmental concerns. What I believe is that whatever happens today there must be a link connected to the past. So, my works are connecting the past and present through concept and methodology.” In this exhibition Saju continues to explore themes of migration and displacement through his method of image transfers on teak wood. Also featured in this exhibition for the first time, are the artist’s works on paper. This body of work investigates the more personal side of Saju’s practice, representing his ancestral home and the multiple migrations undertaken by his family. He first started experimenting with wood as a canvas. Kunhan says, “Wood is a medium I have long been associated with, since as far back as my college days when I worked as a house painter. Transferring ink from one surface to another is a meditative process for me.” Soon he became adept at transferring images from paper to wood, incorporating the imperfections caused by the knots in the wood into his vision. Kunhan creates large scale maps by stitching together hundreds of screenshots from Google Maps. Once the prints are ready, the artist might modify parts of it with paint or by burning or erasing certain sections, before transferring the ink from paper to wood. The multiple histories of each element in Kunhan’s art finds expression on his canvas, whether it’s the archival images transferred from paper or the centuries-old teak wood panels onto which they are received. The artist is just as interested in what stays as he is in what—or who—gets left out at the end of the continuous process of displacement he practices as art. Akin to Saju, Chemould Prescott Road Desmond Lazaro’s artistic practice is the ground upon which the stories of his forefathers are embedded: identity, migration, map-—making, mythology, defining and redefining ‘home’, and the geographical journeys where his family’s histories are charted. He condenses the disciplines of sacred geometry, architecture, art, astrophysics and map-making into beautiful paintings!

As one investigates Lazaro’s artistic journey, much of it is through map-making – exploring both his personal mapping (which has been a complex one), but one that has also transcended into the journeys of explorer’s, star maps and the wider cosmos, he continually looks into how we reimagine the universe within our own microcosmic journey. Lazaro’s work reinvents miniature painting, the tradition he was trained in. His is a boundary pushing art that makes this traditional craft seem especially current. Born in Leeds in 1968, Lazaro came to India in 1990 to study at the art school of Baroda. There, he became obsessed with the miniature paintings of Rajasthan and went to train for twelve years in Jaipur under late master painter Bannu Ved Pal Sharma. Lazaro chose to adopt a craft that is alien to British art education and to deploy it to describe the world around him. He has since worked in the pichvai and miniature painting techniques, and also wrote (and published) doctoral thesis on the topic. His Cosmos series for the Mumbai Gallery Weekend at Chemould Prescott Road is an inquiry into the heavens and a return to such origins. By reconnecting with the alchemic roots of pigment preparation, Lazaro has a stubborn commitment to tradition: his paintings begin with the Earth herself. Project 88 Mumbai presented Tropisms, a solo exhibition of Mumbai-based artist Amitesh Shrivastava’s new body of work, composed largely during the recurring lockdowns marking an exciting departure from his previous oeuvre; with hypnotic colours and vibrant brushstrokes, Shrivastava now composes a pulsating world on the brink of catastrophe.

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Art Trends 2022

If you’re looking for some unique artwork, turn to the biggest trends of the new year. Read on to discover what the most popular artwork will be in 2022.
TEXT: TEAM ART SOUL LIFE

Art trends keep changing throughout the years, just as gastronomic tastes, interiors, and sartorial preferences change with time. Art constantly reinvents itself, and the quest for newness and uniqueness lies at the heart of artistic creativity. Unlike an art movement driven by ideals, trends in art tend to be more consumer-driven. There are always many kinds of art created in the world, and everyone has their own tastes and particular preferences when it comes to art. However, consumers, collectors, and curators often influence which styles of art will become popular trends.

Over the past decade millennials, seeking experiences over possessions, helped drive the trend for immersive experiential art. This trend fuelled the popularity of artists like Yayoi Kusama and Ai Wei Wei. After two years of global upheaval, 2022 will be an exciting year for the art world, sure to build on the trends of digitization we have seen over the past two years. The trends for crypto art will, no doubt, continue to shoot up in popularity. But, immersive in-person experiences and other art trends may fall by the wayside in the post-pandemic world.

The art world has already witnessed influential genres such as impressionism or pop art which have grown almost out of nowhere to become the dominant artistic style of a period. But it is always seen, a new trend emerges and contemporary artworks take their place. Some art trends, like classical architecture, can even be revived centuries later, as seen in the neoclassical period. It would not be pertinent to say art trends often follow, or in some cases, lead to political and social changes.

Herendra Swarup

The trend for virtual art has seen an exponential boost from the Covid-19 pandemic. Out of sheer necessity, virtual art events have adapted and become more sophisticated, allowing artists to reach global audiences even during a period where most people can no longer travel. As artist Herendra Swarup from Faridabad puts it, “Looking at the current situation arising due to Covid, the scope of online galleries is going to increase in time to come, since the public events are going to decrease. Footfall in the physical galleries is already on the decline. The art trend has a high inclination towards abstract art followed by contemporary art, modern art and sculptures.”

Museums, galleries, and art events such as Art Basel have turned to online platforms to create virtual artistic experiences. These art events are available digitally so that audiences can enjoy them anywhere in the world, all from the comfort of their homes.

According to a prominent artist, Praneet Kanchan from Noida, “Technology has made inroads into every aspect of our lives and artists and art have not been left untouched either. People have been using technology to get informed, entertained and inspired and in keeping with this trend art and art galleries have been moving online. This has resulted in art being consumed online and has provided another medium for artists to be discovered and sell their art. This trend has become stronger with Covid-led restrictions on human movement.”

Kanchan observes, “Another very strong trend that is just in its early stages is that of NFT for visual arts. Here technology is used to first establish tamper-proof ownership of an artist over his art piece and then using the reach of internet to provide a marketplace to sell the NFT. NFTs are being adopted by many artists and famous art galleries of the world.”

While many 2022 art trends focus on technology, there’s also a counter-trend for artworks focused on natural beauty. Nature has always been a popular theme in art as a form of escapism from the stress of fast-track urban life. Artists seek reconnection with the natural world and offer audiences some much-needed respite from the confines of their living rooms. Other artists embrace nature themes as their view or comment on the global climate change and represent the climate crisis through their art. Says senior artist Baban Mane from Mumbai, “From my point of view the art of 2022 is the landscape abstract in the brightest colours, the beauty and rhythm in these paintings can be a riot of colours. In the past two years during Covid pandemic many painters did a lot of detailed work from the studio. I think all the colour associations in 2022 can be in this bright colour because bright colours make all the people happy and excited.”

Even though the 2020 outbreak of the pandemic put a rude brake on art fairs all over the world, 2021 saw a gradual comeback of physical fairs, with fewer cancellations and extensive rethinking and planning of the event calendar. A majority of art fairs intend to go ahead this year as well, as the art world seems upbeat about the year unfolding. Says Ananda Das, “In fact, gallery apps will grow and exhibitions will be more immersive”. He goes on to add, “Urban art is inspired by lifestyle and architecture. In 2022, it remains all the more popular type of virtual art worldwide. The contemporary form of art, which is often associated with street art and graffiti art, attracts thousands of people with its bold themes, diversity of colours and profound meaning.”

As the art world experiments with new mediums, we cannot but think of neon lights. When you think of neon, you probably think of the Vegas strip or Times Square in New York, not your drawing room or the bedroom. However, artists like Glenn Ligon, Tracey Emin and Jung Lee have been driving a trend for bright neon artworks for the past few years. Now the trend is moving from the gallery to the wall of our homes, as neon artworks pick up in popularity and become a mainstream trend. Agrees artist Vivek Singh from Delhi, “The Art world has taken leaps and bounds from simple paintings on canvas of landscape scenery and portraits to abstracts, 3D painting on canvas, graffiti done on walls depicting and displaying subtle messages on certain topics. The images are created in bright vibrant neon colours, and with the pandemic not showing signs of going away… exhibitions have gone online. LED light shows combined with audio beaming artworks on canvases like walls of buildings, windows of sky scrapers like that of Burj Khalifa in Dubai, and the currently concluded beating of the retreat where in the evening one thousand drones used to depict an image in the sky, and images beamed in to the defence Headquarters and Govt Ministerial buildings of North and South Block in New Delhi on Jan 29, 2022.

Art is not just restricted to paints. Artists are using recycled plastic, cloth and other waste material including electronic components to make portraits and landscapes. It is dedicated to the tireless and passionate work of artists. These are the new trends of 2022 and are fast evolving. “These new forms of painting using varied scraps of material when put together looks like a painting but on closer look the story of how the images come together on canvas is completely different,” adds abstractionist Vivek.

But one thing that needs to be kept in mind is art trends will always come and go, but serious art collectors will keep a watch on trends within popular or cutting-edge artworks. One must accept that art is highly subjective, and many people collect art for sheer joy, not because it is trendy or lucrative investment.