If modern art boggles your mind, this is one way of getting to the heart of the matter. The Oberoi Hotel at Nariman Point has launched their annual art camp, bringing together artists from across India to create a live exhibition in the hotel’s Mexican Room. Here, the studio space disappears, allowing lay people interested in art to engage with the creators as they work.“We started fourteen years ago, getting together artists like Anjolie Ela Menon, Bose Krishnamachari and Prasenjit Sengupta among others to participate.
The artists are selected on the basis of a synergy in the work they do. What we do is provide them with a cocoon, and ask them to focus on the work they had been putting off, without the distractions of spouses, children and ringing phones,” says Vibhuraj Kapoor of Gallery Beyond, co-organisers. He adds that often, this project leads to artists entering a new phase of their oeuvre. “Many even go on to have solo exhibitions carrying on from the work that started here,” he says.
This year participating artists include Jayashree Chakravarty, Chandra Bhattacharjee, Preetha Kannan, Ashish Dubey, Binoy Varghese, Rajan Krishnan, Ganesh Gohain, Rajnish Kaur, Santana Gohain, Pritam Bhatty, Jaya Lamba, Minal Damani, Manish Pushkale, Puneet Kaushik, and Sanam CN.
“Art is like any other form of creativity like Carnatic music or opera, the more you see of it, the better you understand and connect with it,” says Kapoor. “That’s the idea behind this project, we want people to engage with the artist, talk to them and enter their minds, so that they can understand the works.”The event culminates in a brunch, where the hotel invites patrons to view the completed works, and buy their favourites. Ask Kapoor if most paintings are sold and he says, “Before, we used to be completely sold out. Now people have become more picky, but this event generates enough interest in the artists that many patrons eventually do sign on the dotted line.”