A common misconception about art is often that it’s only for the rich and the famous to indulge in. However, in 2011, Indian Art Festival, initiated by Rajendra Patil, aimed to change the perception, and take it from niche to popular, and encourage young artists.
“Gone are the days when art was limited to swanky art galleries and a privileged few. Even if you see visitors at Jehangir Art Gallery or other popular art houses, 80 per cent are people who cannot buy art. A festival like this helps create awareness among the masses about the aesthetic merit of artwork and how to appreciate it,” says Patil.
The four-day festival unites 30 city galleries, including Delhi Art Gallery, Jehangir Art Gallery, Art Desh, among others. Apart from featuring works by renowned artists like MF Husain, FN Souza, SH Raza, Akbar Padamsee, Krishan Khanna, Jogen Chowdhury, Rabindranath Tagore, Nandlal Bose and Binod Bihari Mukherjee, the festival also provides opportunity to budding talent at the same time. “Artists have to wait for years for their turn to exhibit. We started this initiative with the intent of providing a platform for artists who are finding it difficult to get space for exhibitions,” adds Patil.
* Public art space: A collaborative effort by five Mumbai galleries.
* Mentors and Champions: A panel discussion featuring Pheroza Godrej (director, Cymroza Art Gallery), Kiran Rao (film director, writer and producer), Arundhati Ghosh (director, India Foundation for the Arts/ IFA, Bengaluru) and Mortimer Chatterjee (gallerist; director, Chatterjee and Lal). You can attend the forum on December 20, at 2.30 pm.
* Art stalls: Affordable artwork with products like hand-painted shoes, fabric painted T-shirts, mugs, among other things.
* A booth featuring Bengal art masters.