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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Mask-ing in glory

Sneha Mahale, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, June 02, 2012
First Published: 13:34 IST(2/6/2012) | Last Updated: 15:05 IST(2/6/2012)

A one-of-a-kind exhibition is set to begin in Mumbai on June 7. It’s an art show that will be purely dedicated to masks. Nearly 300 artists from across the country will showcase masks that explore the many facets of human dreams and desires. The exhibition will be held at Phoenix Market city, Kurla.

“This is our fourth such show and we chose the mask concept to connect with the common man because the human face communicates readily and reflects every emotion,” says artist Asurvedh, who curated the exhibition along with fellow artist Suresh Kumar. He adds that a special surface was developed using a material called French powder and resin to create the masks. which were then mounted on canvases.

“This is the first time that such a surface has been used for any form of art in India. It was challenging to find a surface that could support any medium (oil, acrylic etc). It also needed to be permanent,” he adds.

The curators then invited artists to participate in the exhibition. Over 500 people applied, but keeping in mind space constraints in city galleries, only 300 were chosen. Asurvedh says, “We chose artists from across the country. The idea was to have some representation from every part of India, thereby also helping promote this contemporary art form.”

Each artist was also encouraged to use his or her own style to ensure that was variety and each mask was unique.

The exhibition in Mumbai features 300 masks and will see the work of artists like Arpana Caur, Ramesh Kumar and Ravindra Verma, among others. Their subjects range from the male and female forms to Lord Krishna and nature.

Asurvedh says, “You need to see every mask to see the beauty behind the artist’s thought and appreciate how different they are from each other.”

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Why in a mall?
Curator Asurvedh says it is to help connect with people from all walks of life, since “art should not be restricted to galleries.” Shreesh Misra, centre director at Phoenix Marketcity, adds, “We are committed to promoting art and, through this exhibition, we aim to provide artists with a platform to showcase their work.”

Buying it?
If you’re interested in buying any of the masks on display, prices range from R9,000 to R95,000 depending on the artist’s skill and market rate. The exhibition is on from June 7 to June 13 at Phoenix Marketcity, Kurla, from 10 am to 10 pm.


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