India Art Festival In Bengaluru Attracts Over 400 Artists

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Bengaluru: The 2nd Edition of  India Art Festival (IAF) in the city starting from December 08 – 11 at the Palace Ground, Kings Court, Gate No.5, Bellary Road, is grown in scale and size this year, bringing cutting-edge contemporary art to the city, presented by over 30 Art Galleries and 400 artists, coming from 40 different cities across India, Singapore and USA.

Opening on December 08, the 2nd Bengaluru edition of IAF is bringing all forms of artistic expression to the art fair including painting, sculptures, photography, ceramics, and installations, offering insights into current art trends in India and the Asian diaspora.

Founded in 2011 by the publishers of Indian Contemporary Art Journal, IAF is the only art fair held annually in three metro cities and has mounted 22 editions so far in Mumbai, New Delhi and Bengaluru.

Whether, it is a seasoned art collector, or a new art buyer who wants to acquire their first piece of art, the India Art Festival with 4000 pieces of art on display at the Palace Ground is a perfect place to fall in love with art. At IAF, the art collectors are spoilt for choices to choose from many mediums and styles – oil paintings, acrylics, watercolour, original prints, installations, drawings in myriad styles dealing with varied subjects including landscapes, figurative, abstracts, cityscapes, seascapes, urban and rural scenarios, portraits, nudes, semi-nudes, religious art, traditional paintings, murals, warli art and many more.

For the last twelve years, India Art Festival has sought to provide an open atmosphere to showcase the very latest in contemporary art by new talents as well as established names.  In the art festival’s 2nd edition in the city, established and younger galleries alike are trying to strike a balance and appeal to city’s seasoned art enthusiasts while also actively catering to a younger generation of techno-savvy young art buyers. It makes for a varied, eclectic selection of art on offer.

The young talents teeming with the unbridled form of imagination have brought refreshing perspectives and radical visual art voices to the festival this year. There is a total of 100 booths spread at the King’s Court, Palace Ground displaying 4000 pieces of art.

The participating art galleries include  Akanksha Art Gallery, Charvi Art Gallery, Green Footprint Art Gallery, H Art Gallery, Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath,  Sara Arakkal Gallerie (all Bengaluru), ArtDesh Foundation, Artvista, House of Emerge,  Nitya Artists Center,  Studio Pankaj Bawdekar, Studio Rustgrey, Studio3 Art Gallery, The Bombay Art Society,  the (Mumbai), ArteHut, Eminent Art Gallery, Gallery Pioneer, Nifa Art Gallery, Gallery Vision Art (New Delhi), Pastel Tale & Uchaan (Gurgaon), Gnani Arts(Singapore), Kalabhawan(Agartala), M Narayan Studio(Pune), Pichwai by Beyond Square(Udaipur) and Subodh Fine Art Studio(California, USA) among others.
The master artists displayed by the galleries include Sakti Burman, Yusuf Arakkal, Lalu Prasad Shaw, S G Vasudev, Laxman Aelay, Gurudas Shenoy, Laxma Goud, Jatin Das, Jogen Chowdhury, Manu Parekh, N S Harsha, P Gnana, Seema Kohli and many others.

The Artists’ Pavilion with individual booths by independent artists is so designed to create a dialogue between the viewers and the art maker, the artist. This works on multiple levels of engagement as the viewer must know the art practised as it is needed for the artist to develop perspectives beyond their lens of understanding, which the viewers provide. The Artist’s Pavilion also encourages dialogue between the art market and the artists directly. Here the sale and purchase of the artwork are on an open platform and the buyer or collector can approach an artist and the choices are numerous. This kind of freedom is rarely possible as both the artist and the buyers benefit from this arrangement.

India Art Festival Director Rajendra said to The Balcony Stories, “The process of democratising ‘art viewing and buying’ initiated twelve years ago in Mumbai sort of became a movement; the growing interest in Indian contemporary art slowly made this movement spread to New Delhi and Bengaluru covering significant length and breaths of our country.”

“This year the Artists’ Pavilion displays a few unknown talents along with regular names who have brought out their expressions in the form of paintings and sculptures to entice the ever-changing palette of art connoisseurs. Apart from 200 established artists exhibited by art galleries, more than 200 independent artists are displayed in the ‘Artists’ pavilion’ at the art festival. The subjects broached by the artists vary from personal experiences too intense narratives,” he added.

One would be enthralled by the work ‘Tripurasundari’, a feminine mystique of the goddess by artist Dhyana Das and Kalyani Ravishankar’s ‘Radha-Krishna’, as they both blends the nuances of classical paintings and contextualizes them within Indian religious sensibilities.  In another instance, artists Karthik Kamath, Sonali Surana and Tejaswi depict the embodiment of renunciation, Buddha, the enlightened one in his splendid aura with wavy hair curls & the monastic robe covering both shoulders and arranged in heavy classical folds. Sunitha Krishna, Smita BP, Kalyani Sinha and Tripti Pandey indulge in artistic imagery using religious images, cultural symbols and motifs that touch the spiritual chord of the viewers.

It is said that abstract art is a reflection of the spiritual realities behind what we experience in the world and abstract artists’ purpose is to elicit some kind of emotional response from the viewer through the harmonious arrangement of colour and forms. Artists Gaurav Dagar, Jyothi Prakash and Prakash Bal Joshi does the same and beguiles the viewers with their abstract composition using pure forms & colours whereas artist Muthukrishnan Ramalingam and Rajitha Bonthala chose the middle path of semi-abstract idiom to present their visual stories. Wildlife, animal and bird paintings is one of the oldest art form found since ancient times in cave art. Animal and bird art has come a long way since then in technique and imagination and occupies a major part of the contemporary art space in India. Artist Isha Valentine’s symbolic deer with antlers, Priyanka Sehgal’s Sunbird,  big cats and elephant by artists Apurba Das, Shakila Ananth and Sudha Anandampillai displayed in the art festival is a fusion of art elements found in Bundi style of traditional art with contemporary times.

The black and white paintings displayed in the art festival by  Akshata Shetty, Beena Surana, Om Thadkar, Preeti Baliga, and Priyanka Maurya prove that the paintings need not have to be always done in striking colours to create visual splendour! Viewers are bound to be mesmerised by the unfolding visual drama of muted blacks, ash greys, dark flashes, and stary whites with harsh shadows employed in the work of Om Tadkar in his galloping white stallion, whereas Priyanka Mauraya’s dreamy flowery land and symbolic portraits of all sorts by Akshata Shetty and Preeti Baliga create powerful viewing; these paintings can go with the entire range of minimalist modern décor & interior to create aesthetic ambience around living spaces.

From ancient times to modern times, from fertility goddesses to modern-day multitaskers artists have always enjoyed exploring the subject matter of women folk in art. But when the subject is explored by female artists themselves, it assumes different significance like artists Geeta Yerra, Parul Sharma and Swati Burde who are exhibiting in the art festival. The figurative works by Ravi Verma and Vanita Gupta along with Atul Todi and Jayaram Krishna’s figures emerging through geometric patterns on closer look are an added attraction for viewers. The notion of beautiful and sublime with sharp contrasts of light and shadow is exemplified in the landscapes by Poornima Deepak and Reema Ravindran whereas Deepshikha Bishoyi, Mridul Garg, Pooja Muthuraj, Shankari Kundu, T V Sairam and Vidhu Pillai prefers the suggestive style of the abstract landscape which focuses more on expressing emotion while still capturing the essence of a landscape.   Seena Mani’s cityscape, Aditiraje Bhonsle, and  Kasturi Dutta’s flower scape are different genres of landscape painting  n the art festival that would leave a lasting impression on the viewers. Taking the traditional to a contemporary expression artist Debjani Ghosh and DDrJyoti Tiwari creates a blend and exploration of contemporary ways of seeing traditional and ancient portrayals.

A highly evocative experiment in portraiture art by Kumar Avinash, Manoj Swain and Pinkel Mehta, stylised still-life-like work by Poonkuzzhali Kunju and stunning watercolour works by Debolina Majumdar and Moumita  Mitra are bound to leave the viewer enthralled.

Artists Harshitha Radhesh, Juhi Gupta, Pooja Verma, Richa Chadha and Sangita Baruah Sureka work in different styles, mediums and subject but all have common element in their art; their compositions are highly symbolic which needs multiple readings.

Among several other noticeable works by master artists, the artist’s pavilion presents a fresh face of the India Art Festival at the Garden city. India Art Festival, with a mammoth art collection of all sorts of art under one roof, is a one-stop mega  art jamboree for art enthusiasts in this week to enjoy art without getting tired of hopping around art paces in the city!

Venue: Kings Court, Palace Ground, Gate No.5, Bellary Road, Near Mekhri Circle, Bengaluru

Date: December 8 – 11, 2022

Time: 11 am- 8.30 pm on all days.

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