Saturday, February 26, 2011

Modern Indian Contemporary art and artists-TRUTH and LIES

Thou art the Buddha, the Light within, the beast in me sublimates when the door within opens

Mahatma Gandhi painting Viktor Vijay

Black MONA LISA painting Viktor Vijay

Unlettered in art regard contemporary art synonymous with modern. Contemporary art may churn out big shit and rich money bags may just create a big priced-art market for artists with vehement impotency of creativity writ large on their canvases. But in contemporary art market big brand value can be created if a Mukesh Ambani or his sibling Anil, a Lakshmi Mittal a Ratan Tata, or a celebrity Shah Rukh Khan pick up the work of an artist with no connection with his own creative soul but is well connected to the marketing, media, celebrity market. Understand once the artist breaks in the 'money circle' he is able to manipulate easily the 'free market' greed and economics. You will not find a rich Ambani inviting a badraggelled but creative artist, rather it should be one who has 'arrived' in the 'market top bracket'. Each epoch in art prides being path-breaking modern artistic and visionary. But you have to sieve the mediocrity riding on market savvy, networking 'artists' who remain afloat and visible but are flotsam of art and India is no exception to this at present.
But alas all contemporary--including shit art and artists will vanish soon to be replaced by yet another of the same breed. this replacement is happening regularly in India now. Andy Warhol's take on 5 minute media made famous artists is true all the more today. You must struggle to find food and canvases and colours and brushes and paint on and if you have genes related to Vincent Van Gogh, your art will be appreciated after you are dead and buried at least 50 years.
So understand contemporary is always a lot of shit because it can put horse-blinkers on those who have the money but no time for serious art. Steel king Solomon R. Guggenheim had German artist Hilla Rebay as his art adviser and she helped him to collect then unknown but now landmark of modern contemporary visionary art of Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Rudolf Bauer etc. She helped him to acquire Picasso, March Chagall Fernand Ledger Modigliani and others. Rebay did had a visionary understanding of emerging serious art and she saw what others with horse-blinkers could not see.
The story of legendary artists ignored by 'fashionable' art market is true of Francis Bacon the British artist of extraordinary vision. At one time under penury he was willing to paint for a gallery for food and art materials. Out of the anguish he destroyed many landmark works then. He used to say my works belong to the greatest museums or to garbage can!!Thank God there were some good market filters that could find the visionary in this modern contemporary artist.
So do not be taken in by 'celebrity artist', an artist is a modest searcher for the truth that hides in his Chance visions and he does not have time to be at hand-shaking nearness to editors of art magazines, directors of electronic media companies or the famous film stars, politicians, and rich industrialists. the amount of media plants is so great that whatever way one googled for Indian art (images) an artist couple would be in the same place in neighbouring slots photographed by a celebrity photographer, and the creditable blog host who in all likelihood ensured that the search engines covered them together. Oh it is more like if you have the money you can activate the machinery to build a lie around you that you are one great artist. Find umpteen artists' web sites selling themselves as 'great, famous, legendary, well-known, exceptional, leading, path-breaking' artists. Sell yourself like a Wall-Mart Retail if you want to be a contemporary 'great' artist and then go unsung under earth in 63.7 years--the average life expectancy of an Indian in2008; or you can live to create and not carve a fragile pedestal. Are we artists in a business or art is our business??
Well the story is more behind the scenes. Be a Van Gogh tomorrow rather than a false Messiah today!! in Indian and global art and it has no RTI to make transparent the 'Myth and Market' building for artists who are mediocre if I say it with modesty.


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  2. Thanks for sharing this beautyful blog post. I always impressed by Indian contemporary art and attended many exhibition organized by them. Great blog post.

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