Wednesday, April 8, 2009

the agony & the ecstasy

Anant is an old friend. Ashok Swaroop had introduced Anant to me. Those days he was teaching print making to BFA students in Allahabad University. J. Swaminathan was a common thread between us. I’m a fan of Swaminathan’s palette, flying rocks & MiG like bird in his canvas and the subject of Anant’s research was Swaminathan’s paintings.

Pass out of Khairagarh University, Anant is of a genre of artists who believe in not only practicing but living art. This is why he is still a wanderer. One may try to get him in some studio at Ahmedabad but by that time he may be working in studio at Bharat Bhawan, Bhopal or in the fields at his native village where he may be drawing in sketch book or sculpting a piece of wood. I really appreciate his spirit.    

He had gifted me a painting of sky full of colorful kites, when I was leaving Allahabad. Next, he visited me at Aligarh. This time he did six small paintings during his stay and left it in an envelope without a word about it.

He is in Chandigarh these days with two of his prints & works of 18 other fellow artists for an exhibition `the agony and the ecstasy’ mounted in the government museum and art gallery. All the participants are from his university and majority of them settled as practitioners or teachers. They have spent a good sum on catalogues and decent invitation cards. Chandigarh is 4th destination of this exhibition & they still hope to get a buyer for their beautiful works. 

Recession is a common thread of discussion. Even artists are scared of it. This is how art correlates itself with the market-ART MARKET. After all you need money to buy canvas, colors and brush. You need money to get them framed, to mount them on gallery walls and to buy a ticket to travel with big boxes. Meanwhile he got a call from his friend to do a painting of 5x5 feet. Size is decided by the buyer & thank god decision of subject still lies with him. 

 There seems no scope of old theory of art for the sake of art. For many it has become art for the sake of survival.

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