With a strong belief that all major developments and events in the art world should not be confined to a closed group, Niten Mehta of TAD Arts, a Delhi-based art gallery, has come up with an interesting concept, a video archive of comprehensive interviews/talks with some of the known names to get a fair idea about what’s happening in the art world.
“We plan to create this archive to be used as reference material and educational matter by art schools, colleges and artists. Besides, it could also be a film for an art lover to just sit back and enjoy,” says Mehta, who plans to make these videos easily available and free of cost. He adds, “Through this, we are trying to reach out to more people with art as a concept and not as a product.”
The series kicked off with artist Jagannath Panda as the first artist in conversation with Mehta at a beer cafe in Delhi. Here are a few excerpts from the interview.
When did you realise that you wanted to be an artist?
As an art student, I got inspired by the lives of many artists. I started following their works more carefully and watched their art practices. The thoughts/conceptualisation behind their works intrigued me more to be an artist.
Do you believe in creating a signature style?
I don’t believe in creating a signature style of my own. Spontaneity is what I and my audiences like in my work. I rather believe in creating a style for the process and not the end product. Like, I use a lot of animal figures in my work, people might call that my style, but more than the style it’s the thought behind my work that makes me use these figures.
Do you still love art the way you did when you started, or has the love changed over the years?
Your love for art can never change. You either have it or you don’t. Each time you create a work, you build a relationship with it.
What was the initial struggle you had to go through immediately after completing art school?
I came to Delhi in 1995 and at that time there wasn’t much happening in the art circuit. I was told that I have to meet senior artists and they would introduce me to the galleries. But yes, a lot of times I had to hear ‘Baad main aana abhi time nahi hai!’ Or ‘CD bhej do, hum dekh lenge!’ All this didn’t disappoint me though. But things are much better now as compared to our times.
You are a great supporter of public art. Comment.
I believe art evolves when the audience is big. So, as a fraternity, we all need to create and generate more and more audiences and public art viewing is the best platform for this.
Does money play an important role in your art practice?
There are all kinds of considerations I take into account while creating an art piece and yes money is part of it. But I am really appreciative of the new generation of artists who are creating revolutionary, hard hitting installations just to make a statement in the society and selling is not at all on their mind. When you grow, money also comes in but first you need to tell people what your work is and make a base for yourself.