After the deluge, art
Jatin Das is how painters are supposed to be: eccentric, noticeable and a passionate outsider. The 76-year-old artist with the trademark beret and Old Testament beard had famously declared that painters today look at the gallery size before painting, but not he or his friends from the older generation. Yet size is not a stranger to him or his contemporaries in art or in life.
Or in Nature, like the size of a tragedy Kerala experienced when monsoon floods devastated the state during a deluge that extended over three weeks. To raise funds for the rehabilitation effort, Das has put together a charity sale with some of the biggest names in the field of art participating in the exhibition that will be on at Lalit Kala Akademi until September 11, according to the Akademi chairman, Uttam Pacharne. The proceeds from the sale would go to the Kerala floods relief fund.
“India’s artist community has always reached out in the face of calamity, raising money by donating their work, unlike other professionals. Maybe it’s been a drop in the ocean, but we have always come forward to help causes like Punjab, Kashmir, blind children, cancer, earthquakes, the Uttarakhand disaster, the Odisha super cyclone etc,” says Das, who had said a real artist does not exhibit for the public. When Sahmat was set up following theatre activist Safdar Hashmi’s murder, he donated a painting to raise funds for the organisation.
Das is happy about the response to this charity show. Artists across cities have sent their works to Delhi. Its not just money but the solidarity that counts, believes Das. Artists and galleries are participating in the exhibition, on which artist and Das’s contemporary Vivan Sundaram says, “It’s a noble act. We should be taking more such steps and I hope enough money is raised from the sale to help Kerala flood victims.”
Das has held 68 solo shows in India and overseas and has shown at prominent national and international exhibitions. During the devastating 1999 Odisha cyclone, Das was on the ground engaged in relief efforts in villages. Both in art and life, he is no stranger to turmoil.
Jogen Chowdhury, Jatin Das, Vivan Sundaram, Manu Parekh, Pradeep Dasgupta, Raghu Rai, Rameshwar Broota, Vasundhara Tiwari, A Ramachandran, Radhakrishnan Mimi, Krishen Khanna, Daroz Dipali, Paresh Maity, Naresh Kapooriya, Manish Pushkale, Gopi Gajwani, Gulam Mohammed Sheikh, P D Shumal, Rini Dhumal, Jyoti Bhatt, G R Irana, Jyotsana Bhatt, Bibhu Patnaik, Balan Nambiar, Marie Dias Arora, Shuvaprasanna, Sanjay Bhattacharya, Krishen Ahuja, and many more.
When and Where Lalit Kala Akademi, Delhi September 9-11, 10 am to 7:30 pm