The works of 22 artists were featured recently at the Taj West End in an exhibition titled Oorja (‘energy’ in Sanskrit). See Part I of our photo essay here, along with insights from curator MG Doddamani. The art works are priced from Rs 20,000 to Rs 2.5 lakh.
The artist lineup features Ashu Gupta, Babita Saxena, Jyoti Gupta, Kanthi V, Neelam Malhotra, Nivedita Gouda, Ritu Chawla Mathur, Rosh Ravindran, Vanaja Bal, Venkataraman R, SG Vasudev, KT Shivprasad, Sachin Jaltare, Gurudas Shenoy, Basuki Das Gupta, Prabhu Harsoor, Rama Suresh, Shivakumar Kesaramadu, Sujata Harish, Vishnukumr S, and JMS Mani.
Ritu Chawla Mathur switched tracks from the hotel industry to art. She tells stories through mixed-media art, about the inner struggles and emotions that lie behind doors of appearances. “In an ever-busy schedule, art is an escape from the constant chaos and pressures of the ‘real’ world. With art I escape to another world and feel happy and serene when I’m playing with the canvas. It’s like I am Alice in Wonderland,” she joked, in a chat with YourStory.
“I think there is a little bit of art in everything around us and to be able to capture that art and interpret it in my own way is what fascinates me. Art has a far-reaching impact in my life. The fun and excitement of beginning a new piece is like a relationship, perhaps,” she says, describing the journey of discovery, creation, reward and satisfaction.
“To me success means that I have created a piece that is exclusive, individualistic, conveys my expressions and makes me smile – inside and out. A successful artist knows that the growth comes from within. Appreciation by the audience is an added bonus,” says Ritu.
She feels audience should not feel intimidated by art – after all, they do appreciate nature, photographs and movies. “Being an artist is often a vulnerable path. You make something so deeply personal and then present it to the world with an open heart. Not everyone is so fearless. I would say appreciate people’s art for art’s sake,” she advises audiences.
“Go with your heart when working on the canvas. Create what excites you and not what necessarily needs to sell. Be obsessed with your subject. Know your strength and develop on that – make it your signature style,” Ritu advises aspiring artists.
“Don’t try and be good at everything. Don’t compare yourself with others – compare your recent work with the older one. Let art be your means for expression, storytelling and your ideology,” she sums up.
Babita Saxena left a career in IT to found the Art Spa. Her art works have made their way to exhibitions across India, and overseas – Dubai, Italy, the US and Australia. For the Oorja show, she depicted the folk musicians of Rajasthan. “Art is a means to express my creativity and acts as a great de-stresser for me,” she explains. She is working on new project based on her travels.
“I interpret common subjects in a contemporary way. Success for me is when I am able to touch the audience in some way,” Babita says. “Keep that paint brush wet,” she jokes, as advice to aspiring artists in terms of perseverance and habit.
Nivedita Gouda is a self-taught artist as well as hardware designer. She has exhibited at fairs like Chitra Santhe in Bengaluru. “Art is my passion, a deep connect within myself. It’s the only thing for which I wouldn’t deny myself time or space of indulgence,” she explains.
“The intention of touching people through my art is the biggest drive. Working for a cause which involves art is a dream come true,” she adds. She is working on a project called the Buddha series, as well as on an art exhibition at YUGEN.
“If my work can touch, move and inspire people that would be success to me. I want my expression of life and its instances to bring about a shift in the lives of the viewers. Success is not something I worry about, I worry about how much dedicated effort I am putting in. Giving my best is my highest priority,” Nivedita explains.
She observes that these days, the younger generation is opting for art as a field of work more than in earlier times. “I would love to bring awareness about valuing art. People should go attend more art exhibitions, that will help them develop the ability to interpret and identify genuine works. Investing in art is the next step. This will help the entire artist community,” she suggests.
Nivedita also offers useful tips for aspiring artists. “Focus on hard work, dedication and practice. Be bold to experiment. Be brave to make mistakes and even ruin works. If you are not having fun when you paint or draw, then it’s not going to make anyone enjoy it either. Have an open mind for criticism and never give up,” she sums up.
Now what have you done today to find that sweet spot of doing what you like, becoming good at it, and receiving recognition for it?
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