An artist, writer, curator, comic creator and baker, Aakshat Sinha is also involved in street art and public art initiatives. We spoke to him in capacity of a curator before his upcoming group show titled “Art for homes”, showcasing works of six promising artists to be held in Defence Colony from September 8 to September 11. Excerpts from the interview:
Your journey as a curator
My recent curatorial venture was an International Artists’ Group Show – ‘Pratibimb-Reflections’ at Lalit Kala Akademi in April 2016. It included 32 artists from India, Australia, Russia, USA, UK, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
In the past, I have curated solo shows of Shri Umesh Varma (National awardee) and Dr. Sukant Khurana (Neuroscientist) at AIFACS (All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society) in May 2016.
Apart from these, I have organised many art camps and group exhibitions over the last 5-6 years at various places, like AIFACS, Lalit Kala, Russian center of Science and Culture, Arpana Art Gallery, Anandagram, Poorva Sanskritik kendra, India Habitat Center, etc.
I have also curated and organised two solo shows of my own works and have represented India at the Silk Route Cultural Forum held in Russia, with my installations.
Tell us about the participating artists in Art for Homes
There are six participating artists in the show. Anindita Kishore is a retired civil servant, who creates beautiful enamels that shine and glitter and attract their owners from far. Dinesh Sethi is a Radiologist by profession who uses the camera to scan and capture the frames that excite the viewer and force to engage in a dialogue with the photoraphs. Gauri Arora is a Fashion-ista from NIFT and an English Literature Major. She uses the lines and forms that involve the viewer into untangling the Zentangles that help her focus, relax and create. Lorraine Brigdale hails from the continent Down Under and brings forth works that are as relevant in India as in all the countries that she has frequented over the last few decades. Her works are studies that have kept her engaged and creatively live. Puja Grover is a sensitive soul that puts out on canvas the images that tease her from within. Her sensibilities present a very soft and yet a challenge nonetheless to the viewer. Sabita Agrawal hails from colder pastures of Kathmandu, Nepal and her watercolor works are reflective of her connection with the mountains, the people and the animals that inhabit those
What is the thread that binds these artists together?
The artists are all known to me personally and we have worked together at different times. My role as a curator was not only to string together the personalities of the different artists but also to select and exhibit works that are distinct and connected at the same time. The exhibited art works enhance each other’s presence and provide an opportunity for the viewer to select a piece specially for their own sensibility. All the works are creations that seem to emerge from the conscience of the artists, even the photographs are frames of subjects with a distinct sense of enlightenment.
You views on emerging artists
I personally believe that an artist is always emerging unless he/she starts replicating him/herself and starts to stagnate. All artists have to keep on evolving, experimenting and in this sense always emerging. To be contemporary is to evolve a syntax for his/her own personal use. Evolve a grammar and a language, using the artistic mediums and motifs to create works that inspire a dialog with the viewer.
What should one look for when buying art for homes?
When one buys art for homes, one has to keep in mind the sensibility of those that inhabit that home and the aesthetics of the space. The most important factor is the first impression that the individual gets when he/she looks at the art work. The colours and the subject should be something that the individual should be excited about. Although the art work might serve as a decoration to the home but the subject, the colours and the handiwork of the artist speak volumes about the individual, who buys the work.
The name and the market value of the artist might be taken in to consideration if the art work is a matter of investment, but ultimately the art work has to appeal to the buyer.
Is affordable art for real? Your views on art pricing and quality.
Affordability is a difficult term to define. This depends more on the buyer than the art work. Art needs to be priced at
abstract values that are tangentially based on many factors like, size, medium, subject, framing, and the market presence of the artist. Quality of art is also very difficult to lay down in fine bands. There are certain norms that exist for realistic and figurative works but in the case of abstracts, this becomes cloudy. But all art works have (or should have) the ability to move the viewer. There has to be a response. The viewer needs to feel a sense of peace, excitement, melancholy, meditative state, or even horror. Art pricing is a delicate affair and the artist and the buyer need to both feel satisfied for an effective change of hands.
How is this show special?
This particular show brings together some very distinctly different artists. Despite this distinction there is a sense of uniformity to the whole show. There are works in different sizes, mediums and pricing. The works are affordable, considering the level of finesse exhibited by the artists, in a price range from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 1,00,000. There are photographs, enamels, water colours, ink on paper and even oil paintings. The participating artists are from India, Australia and Nepal, bringing together an amalgamation of diverse sensibilities and art forms and techniques. The display is in a private home setting and this also helps the visitor to engage with the art works in a non-imposing way.