As the United Art Fair (UAF) debuts in the Capital, we get you 10 artworks to watch out for from the fair artworks worth Rs 60 crore, 600 artists, 2700 art pieces spread over an area of 100,000 square feet, and much more — the first edition of the United Art Fair (UAF) opened in the Capital on Thursday at Pragati Maidan.
On till September 30, the four-day-long fair has so far seen a good turnover, with a footfall of over 2,500 on the first day itself. As far the sales are concerned, the organisers are expecting around 40% business by the end of the fourth day.
On the first day, many visitors criticised the fact that the art pieces were not labelled. But this was deliberate, clarified Annurag Sharma, the founder and managing director of the fair. “We want our viewers to appreciate the artworks and not the artists. So, this was done deliberately only for the first day,” he said. The labels were put up on the second day keeping the visitors and sales in mind.
Jhonny ML, curator of the fair adds, “As the fair is completely artist-driven, many gallerists think that we are eating their share, but that’s not the case. It’s a sincere effort from our side to get new artworks and artists to invest in. Even if 20% of the artists from the fair make a mark in the industry, we will think our job is done.”
The venue has been interestingly divided into lanes such as Souza street, Amrita Shergill street and more, that represent the various artworks under the section: Emerging artists, Mind the gap, Photography, and Masters.
We get you glimpses from the fair and what not to miss while you are there.
Artist Subodh Kerkar from Goa has worked on a very interesting series that talks about how oceans act as a medium for intercontinental exchange of cultures. Check out his huge installations made with fiber glass and old black tyres. “It’s very ironic that water bodies divide the continents and yet connect them. When Vasco de Gama explored the first sea route, it was a great development in the history of human race,” he says. Kerkar’s artwork talks about the influences India has seen through these exchanges. Citing an example he says, “Chillies were never a part of this land. We got it from South America.”
In search of the lost chord is an interesting series by Mumbai-based artist Kunal Naik. The works are made with interesting everyday material that the artist has collected form his environment. This includes photo frames and switches. Naik says his work is hugely inspired by music and you can see this inspiration in his work that uses old Kutch bells and some other musical instruments.
The Loot is a huge art installation placed just at the entrance of Hall No.12. This interesting artwork by artist Manish Sharma from Bikaner, throws light on the loot of our tradition and culture by the Mafias. “My native place had around 1000 havelis and now only 200 are left, the rest 800 have been robbed and destroyed. If we keep destroying our cultural heritage then what will we pass on to our next generation and other nationalities,” says Sharma. The front part of the car is a vintage car and the back a truck. It is made in fiber glass and priced at R9 lakh. The artist took four months to complete the artwork.
We spotted a lot of people showing keen interest and buying the silk cushion covers priced at Rs 1,000. These covers have works of artists Manjit Bawa and A Ramachandran. The bookstore by Vadehra Art Gallery also had other memorabilia such as mugs. While a Husain mug is priced at Rs 750 a Raza mug is available for Rs 550. Also, visit the book store to check out famous art journals, books and biographies of artists and much more.
25-year-old Varnita Mahajan’s work is bold and fearless. It talks about female desires and gender politics. The works involve mix media and
photography. She has clicked herself with chewing gum and lollipop on her body, depicting the desires of a woman. Another interesting work is a painting where a woman is shown as an ATM machine. One of her mix media work in red has used original pubic hair and that caught a lot of attention.
Chandigarh-based artist Diwan Manna is showcasing his work after a long time. His position as the Chairman of Lalit Kala Akademi, Chandigarh, keeps him busy. But his works — mix media and photography — are quite striking and a must watch at the fair. Titled, Shores of the unknown, the canvas involves painting at the background, human figures in the front and and then a final click of the whole drama (photography), which is then printed. Three of his works are currently on display at the fair.
After completing a successful series on Parrots, Delhi-based artist Mukesh Sah has worked on a series of mountains. He says his inspiration is his childhood days spent in his hometown where he saw a lot of mountains in different hues. In the fair, he is showcasing three of his works from his series. The smaller canvases are priced at Rs 35,000 and the bigger one at Rs 75,000
These artworks don’t just involve colours and canvas, but a thorough research that includes mathematics, geometry and optical illusion. According to the artist, it’s anamorphic art. Watch out for these pieces from Kerala whose lower part is a full-fledged canvas depicting a park with a pond and human figures. But when this glass is put in the center, it reflects a portrait of Gandhi. Other interesting works include a portrait of Indira Gandhi, which on the canvas below is a sunset. It’s priced at Rs 50,000 and Rs 60,000.
This young artist from Delhi offers very interesting and different work. The artworks have been manipulated digitally and are an extension to the artist’s earlier work on cyberomanticisms. The work talks about cyber relations and focuses on how cyber space blurs the boundaries of gender and sexuality that people offer as extensions of their personalities. The works are priced between Rs 50,000 to 1 lakh.
Masks from jaipur
Don’t be surprised if you spot people wearing masks walking around the venue. These are artists from Jaipur who are showcasing about 50 masks from their collection that have been created by them this year. Every year, this group of artists experiments with one object. Last year, they painted umbrellas. The masks are not for sale.
Amidst all the drama of huge canvases and installations, it’s good to spot soothing and pleasing canvases. Sadana has three works on display at the fair that are based on the concept of spirituality. “My work is an extension of my thoughts. A painting like this when put at home can be very relaxing and peaceful to look at after a hard day at work as it’s very meditative.”
Catch it here
What: United art Fair
On till: September 30
Timings: 11am to 8pm (today);
11am to 5pm (tomorrow)
Where: Hall No.12 and 12A, Pragati Maidan
NEAREST METRO STATION: Pragati Maidan on Blue line
Price: Rs 50,000 onward