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Monday, March 14, 2011

Contemporary Art


excerpts book Mona Lisa does not smile anymore
" No Indian artist with professed influence of Indian philosophical thought has caused a stir in the world. Many migrated to West or studied and stayed there but none could touch the pinnacle; is it the hegemony of the West or the quality of art that is in question? Rather I have a question namely is the art market able to separate wheat from chaff? Whether the high prices created by the market a touch stone of the real worth of art works? Is in a society so full of scams and manipulations a ‘price’ is really a price at which transactions take place and whether the ‘experts’ really able to gauge the artistic worth of a work of art. Have we been able to create a holistic, universal expression drawing on Indian philosophy, religion and thought? May be the heritage is too heavy with past and the artists are not able to wrench themselves away or be free from its overpowering impact. The weight of so much of knowledge from the past, the imagery, iconography, the narratives, the philosophy and above all the inability to look at all this from today’s vintage point could probably be possible reasons of Indian contemporary art and artists denied to make a grand entry on world podium. The art that is being created is cocooned and in the absence of good institutional infrastructure is difficult to screen for its true artistic worth. Quite a few are dealing in pleasing decorative figures that have vanished almost half a century earlier from world art. Both in form based and abstraction some remarkable art is being created often and include works of artists who do not know to use marketing instruments. Collectors are no longer impressed by the poverty of an artist; to be good, the artists must have plush studios and designer clothes, and only then the art is rated ‘collectible’. Like Bombay masala movies people at the lower rung of art appreciation want works to decorate their houses, villas, factories, ranches, offices. They want not creative works of art, they want pleasing pictures—pictures that don’t raise uncomfortable question about life, existence, humanity and future. Others want paintings to satisfy their need for religious images of gods and goddesses"

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