Saturday 6 February 2016

Delhi Art Fair at its absurdity best!

A recent visit to India Art Fair in Delhi, observed as India's most prestigious Art Fair in the country known for its class, scale and presentations of its featured artists who participate with various style and genre at the Art Fair aimed for public viewing. The Fair is significant for creating a sense of curiosity for art lovers and artists across the country. It is considered as one of the motivational event for creative brains. However, it was a bit awkward process this year, where one had to go through series of terms and conditions and security protocols issued in an environment of sensitive expression and emotional belief and intimacy. No doubt, it must have been in the keen interest of security, but on slipping in, there was lot more to be sensed than just security rationale.   
New Delhi Entry for New Hope in Art 
( image wikipedia)

Generally, upcoming artists and art lovers come here to witness the salutary creations of established artists and attend discussion and talks about current and feature art works, curatorial projects, collaboration of galleries with artists, art in public spaces and art education and practices. The initiative taken by the galleries and established artists in the country show a keen interest in development of art and education and bringing new dimension and perspective and verticals in academia of visual practices and initiating public forums as well as creative programs to engage art practices within public space. All said and done! Fair enough, witnessed by a few who could trick themselves in the campus of sensitive, sensible and sumptuous creativity zone. 

The basic idea and hopefully if not mistaken, ‘Art Fair’ is organised in park where there are shows and display of artistic fervour and it is entirely aimed at impressing public and art lovers despite of their financial and social status. It is supposed to be free from favoritism or self-interest or bias or deception; conforming with established standards or rules. But this Art Fair has totally changed the concept, it has not at all been fair to many and the idiom 'Everything comes at a price", seemed pertinent to the operation of whole affair of the Fair.

The rates of ticket amounting thousands is an expensive matter for the passionate artists and patrons of art coming from far off places to view, admire and learn as as they can from such Fair. But I think a 'Piggy bank' meant to inculcate good habit in children of collecting and saving money, should be followed by these artists and patrons to collect and save money for the upcoming Art Fair, so that they can get the entry, if lucky enough! More than a layman who is supposed to view and develop appreciation for art, one had the feeling that it was a summit of elites. The pompous socialites were the most sought after and heartily welcomed viewers of the Fair. Discussions were nothing but diplomatic views. Established artists forged elements and textures of verbal expression. Obviously ending up as entertainers of numerous platforms with their directorial ideologies and philosophies. Evidently, the neutrality was completely diluted and farce irked the patrons of art. It was clearly an exaltation of delusory beguiling. The spot turned out to be the resource of placid clandestine deal with the certain class of influence. The art lovers and artists from third estates or masses were rare at the scenario as the invitations were restricted to elites only.
India Art Fair- Photo by  Lawande Vinit

This Art Fair failed to establish connection with novice artists and art buffs among masses and that too ironically at the happening taking place at Public Park. This was a grave mistake; very offensive! It has to be given critical importance, because the neglect of masses for classes can affect the future of Art Fair.   

The only rectification for this mistake is that there should be no viewing restrictions and limitations on entry for viewing art works and getting acquainted with established galleries and artists expressing concerns on introducing programs to engage artists and masses into art practice for development of language and vision of art as a representative culture for all, in common interest.

I believe, that if almost all the established artists of today who vocalize their complain about restrictions, permissions and explorations and quest and queries of art when confronted by institutions and galleries, then why do they go mute in case of restrictions, permissions, explorations and quests that pop up at such events held in the name of Fair, for layman, at public spaces?
Do you think : Kabir can go to today's  art fair ??? ( image wikipedia)

Think : Kabira, are the today's Art Fairs for you?
No glamour and bucks to showoff, but only
awareness and distinctive creativity by you!
Save Kabira, save, just for a glance of the proclaimed few,
'cause your presence and intellectual level will be snubbed ,
Evaluating you on basis of  social and economic view.     

Introducing new ideas and new visions is easy to express, but the bitter truth is far tasteless in reality. In recent times or until today I have not seen any collaborative projects being introduced in public spaces or in institution by artists or galleries as they are solely for private circulation. To get into the circle one has to count the price and not just calculate on your art or process. Invitations move within certain circles and not in Art Institutions or for young and talented artist waiting eagerly, ready to work.

Artist :Lawande Vinit

Sadly, such organization of programs are not encouraging, instead these seem to be only an encroachment of public parks. Art Fair at Public Park is moving away from its sublime motto of development in spreading art and its processes among society to promote young talent, introducing them to various platforms of development. This very base has been reduced to secondary consideration. Art fervency is chocked in unfavourable, faith-lacking conditions of such events. If the constant rejection and criticism of masses go point-blank, very soon it will jeopardize the manipulative intentions that are gaining preference.  
 Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890)
 ( image wikipedia)
Being global, is the need this age. Unlike Vincent van Gogh, who had only one exhibition in his life time and sold only one painting, now artists have to display their art and make their art known to the world through various mediums and gallaries, so exposure to knowledge and opportunities is a necessity, so there should be no barriers for strugglers, students and patrons on entry and participation in various forums and talks. As a well- wisher and an art patron I feel, it would be the right move if galleries introduce public forums creating opportunities of art, culture and literature in simple and common language for all and must be patient in the process. If such events in interest of public, have to be made a huge success, involvement of art appreciators from among the masses have to be entertained and encouraged.

By Pankaja JK 
in association with Vinit Lawande.

(2016 - No copyright claim of any image by Writer or

send feedback to JK  /  Vinit Lawande :

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