BENGALURU: The world of art is puzzling and often perplexing to ‘outsiders’ as it is shrouded in mystery and uncertainties. With Indian artists like Amrita Sher-Gill, Tyab Mehta, Hussain, Gaitonde, SH Raza and Souza having their creations sold for millions of dollars after their death, art has become synonymous with luxury and with the elite class.
Even works of contemporary artists have been selling for big bucks. No wonder then, the aam aadmi is intimidated to visit an art gallery, let alone willing to buy a painting.
At the other end of the spectrum, India has thousands of artists who have graduated from art school but who live in poverty because they are unable to sell and often have to return to their towns and villages and take up menial jobs, just to survive.
A relatively new gallery, Art Houz, is hosting ‘Small and Beautiful’, a group show of 28 artists across genres, participating in a unique small format exhibition in the city. The process range from about ` 3000 to ` 20,000. Paintings, drawings, illustrations, sculptures, photography, digital prints, etchings, wood cuts and even installations are on sale.
Curator of the show and gallery manager, Aditi Ghildiyal says that small works have always been a part of Indian art heritage. For example, the miniatures which continue to influence contemporary artists. “I wanted to have a budget-friendly show and many artists I approached like the concept and made works especially for the exhibition. Some artists have been exploring the small format for the first time. Like Shraddha Rathi, who found it challenging to express herself freely in an 8 in by 8 " canvas. “I welcome this as art is energy, and can empower and uplift. Placing a piece at the entrance of your home and making the whole ambience more welcoming gives a nice feeling.”
One of the artists participating is the prolific Shan Re who has a 12 inches by 12 inches work on display. “The small format is good as it is affordable and benefits both established as well as emerging artists. People will want to enter an art gallery once they know that the art is affordable. I find that potential buyers have been showing interest and that is a positive sign. With demonetiation, the arts scenario has been affected too. Hence the move to have an art show dedicated to small works is most timely. Large collectors too would be keen to buy their favourite works in a different format, “she says.
A view echoed by curator and painter Harish Kumar Sejekan who also says that most buyers use cash to buy works of art and that is not possible in the current scenario. “At a time when we need to stabilise the art market, small format works are not only affordable but will also be a much needed push for artists in the currently dwindling art market.”
With smaller homes and apartments culture here to stay, small but beautiful pieces embellish the home and give it character. Old new, corporate buyers, young techies, young couples all can now have access to art.
With the festive season around the corner, buyers would want to spend a bit on beautifying their homes and can even gift as mall painting or wood etching to near and dear ones. Looks like a win-win situation for everybody.