Two days, three art exhibitions

The exhibition at Kala Kendra, Bharat Nivas titled Sign II by a group of Puducherry artists had visually stunning paintings. There were intricate pieces typical of Indian artistry as well as impressionistic ones of the late and post western renaissance kind. The panels could decorate corporate and lavish home interiors impressively by their striking colours and craft. However from the point of view of higher realm of beauty of colours and truth of form there was only one that seized attention – a tree lined bank reflecting on the water, being a junction between the heavens above and below.

It was some excellent and truly artistic works that greeted one at Ashesh Joshy’s exhibition of water colour paintings at Citadyne. The balance of forms and colours captivated one’s heart and was visually pleasing. Most works exuded light and peace. Ashesh gratefully attributes his initiation into painting to Charudatta Prabhu Desai whom he met at Sri Aurobindo Ashram in the early nineties where the latter was a volunteer. He later developed his craft on his own and the turning point came one night when he felt a descent of a higher force into his mind and from the next morning onward his works expressed a new and superior quality which were appreciated even by the people who had ignored his earlier works. His companion Vera has assisted him in putting up the exhibition and the selection of frames and background materials for each painting. The most impressive painting of the exhibition is the one of a blossoming cherry tree among the first panels but my photo hasn’t come out good and so I am posting below another, from the last ones, called by Ashesh as ‘Dancing queens’.

Life in the home city Mumbai in black and whites is the theme of Kaushal Parikh’s photo exhibition and by enlarging the images into life size prints and pasting them on large walls he makes experiencing them more living and real to the viewer. The stills per se are not extraordinary but yet shots of urban life which stand out amid the din and movement as windows into another dimension. The photographer has used the walls of an abandoned and dilapidated factory as the site to exhibit his photos. Use of such unusual spaces for exhibition of artistic works is a trend that started in the west. The novelty generates publicity for the artist and it is charming that dilapidated buildings too get a life at least during the exhibitions. However the appreciation the artist earns could be more due to the exhibitionism than his art. In countries like India abandoned factories are usually haunts of the criminals and sometimes is where commoners prefer to relieve themselves than visit the horrible municipal toilets. So artists may have to think about all aspects and not simply imitate all that is trending in the west.

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