Shaken by attack, Mumbai artists dedicate works to victims

December 17th, 2008 - 10:39 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Dec 17 (IANS) The Mumbai terror attacks seem to have shaken the city’s artists and painters from their blissful lives, with many deciding to dedicate their works to the victims of the 26/11 tragedy.Senior journalist Prakash B. Joshi will hold a solo exhibition of his recent works entitled “Subtle Change”, dedicated to the victims of the mayhem in Mumbai. The five-day exhibition will open Dec 22 at Kitab Mahal, Fort area, barely a stone’s throw from the terror-hit Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus.

Joshi, who pursues painting as a hobby, was deeply moved by the tragedy, especially at The Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel, Colaba.

“It is located just opposite the Gateway of India where I held my first solo exhibition in 2006. I never sell my paintings, it’s for my personal satisfaction,” Joshi, a senior political journalist with The Times of India, told IANS.

In the past couple of years, he has built up a collection of 38 paintings.

“They are based mainly on the mysterious and mythical river Saraswati, which has fascinated me since childhood. My wife Disha suggested that I should hold an exhibition and donate the proceeds for the victims of the Mumbai terror attacks, especially the police and security personnel,” Joshi explained.

He said he was relieved by his wife’s suggestion. “Selling the works now will spare me of any feelings of guilt since the proceeds will go towards a noble cause,” he said.

On similar lines, a group of young Mumbai artists led by Raghu Neware, will hold an exhibition of their works at Jehangir Art Gallery, dedicated to the terror victims. The five-day show will be on from Jan 17 to 23.

“The proceeds will be donated to Mumbai Police to help them modernise the force and prevent similar tragedies hitting their personnel in future,” Neware told IANS from Nagpur, where he is based.

Incidentally, Neware was staying behind the Taj Nov 26, the night the attacks began, as he was preparing to hold his exhibition at Jehangir Art Gallery two days later. Over 170 people were killed in the 60-hour-long terror strike in Mumbai that shook the entire country.

“I was shattered by what I saw, the fear, the pain and agony of the city grappling with a colossal tragedy. I called up a few artist friends and suggested that we should join together and hold an exhibition dedicated to the victims of the attacks. Thirty-two of them readily agreed and donated 42 paintings,” Neware said.

Impressed by the gesture, the gallery authorities at short notice went all out to encourage them. They handed over an expo hall where an exhibition was cancelled at the last minute due to the terror attacks and accommodated the new show.

Despite lack of publicity for the event, barring word-by-mouth and SMSes, the artists managed to attract many viewers, mainly foreigners, and even sold half-a-dozen paintings for a little over Rs.100,000.

The endeavour inspired the gallery authorities and the artists to have a repeat show with bigger names and more paintings, with publicity to attract more viewers and buyers. The repeat show will be held at the gallery mid-January.

Among the artists who took part in the first exhibition were Surendra Jagtap, Sanjay Kumar, Vinayak Jagdale, Rajesh Kullarwar, Dnyaneshwar Jagdale, Neware said.

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