Young and unsung art makes an impression (With Images)

July 28th, 2010 - 11:38 am ICT by IANS  

By Madhusree Chatterjee
New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) Art houses are giving unsung and emerging artists a platform to paint their emotions and reach out to buyers with a realistic purse. Spilling on to the canvas is urban angst, loneliness, squalor, concern for the environment and the energy of youth this season.

“Upcoming young talents, out-of-the-box creativity and experimentation are the trends this season,” Ravi Chadda, a gallery owner, connoisseur and veteran entrepreneur, told IANS here.

“Most galleries are trying to give younger artists a platform unlike even six months ago when modern masters were dominating the markets,” Chadda said.

Jane Slade is a young American artist and environmental designer from Woodstock in the US who is exhibiting her installations in India in an exhibition, “Kaya Palat”, at the Paintbrush and Chisel Gallery here.

An Ames research scholar in India, she is researching formal and informal techniques to make worth from waste.

Crafted with wire mesh, cotton cords, lights and 3,000 plastic bottles - toxic waste sourced from Chhatarpur on the outskirts of the capital and from the business quarters of old Delhi - Slade’s installations symbolise “love, desire, sadness and anger”.

Each emotion is represented by coloured lights seeping through the bottles, hanging in clusters like chandeliers. The bottles have been recycled, washed, sand-blasted, heated and coated in special paints for a translucent surface to reflect light.

“The nine plastic islands in the Pacific Ocean containing seven billion tonnes of plastic waste were my inspiration. I was outraged and wanted to raise awareness about plastic poisoning through my art,” Slade told IANS.

She is planning to carry the installations to the next level to show the rate and volume of plastic waste in a particular community with a public installation.

“People in India, unlike in the US, realise the importance of recycled art,” she said.

“Art can play a significant role in promoting environment,” noted environmentalist and filmmaker Mike Pandey said.

“One of my friends, Sanjeev Verma, an artist, packs sunflower seeds in fancy wrappers and distributes them among villagers. The packets are embossed with a slogan - ‘I am seed, I have a life’. He paints an environmental picture with his art. Wherever one sprinkles the seeds, the hardy blossoms bloom bright yellow landscaping barren ground. Natural colours impact the mind,” Pandey told IANS.

Urban blues, love and anger over trivial matters find unusual expression in three young artists - Jiban Biswas of Kolkata, Nilanjana Nandi of Baroda and Pratibha Singh of Delhi. The trio is part of a group of four artists exhibiting in the capital.

Biswas captures love between two human beings and even animals on his canvas, while Nandi portrays “storms in teacups” in different intensities and forms. Pratibha Singh probes the amorphous shape of desire in her surreal acrylic images.

“I believe in promoting contemporary, cutting edge and young artists,” said Bhavna Kakar, owner of the gallery Latitude 28.

Kakar is exhibiting “offbeat contemporary installations and digital art” reflecting neo-urban sensibilities in a show, “Urban Testimonies” by four young Baroda-based artists, Siddhartha Kararwal, Nityananda Ojha, Deepjyoti Kalita and Kartik Sood.

The exhibits, mostly sculptures and installations, script creative variations of common urban idioms like animal slaughter, detachment, solitude, sadness, alienation and decay as life flows by in big cities. The expressions are personal.

“Young art has become more thinking because we are encouraged to read and write. The mediums have changed and new Indian artists are not afraid to experiment,” Kakar said.

An exhibition, “Genesis”, at the Visual Arts Gallery by newcomer Simran Lamba uses molten coal tar, wax aluminium and lead to create three-dimensional textured canvases of nature and abstract forms.

Price points of young art make it more accessible.

Kakar has sold five installations at “prices good enough to keep her young artists creatively engaged throughout the year, but affordable for her buyers.”

(Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at

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