Analyze, adjust, adapt – how these artists are responding to the pandemic with creativity and resilience
Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature of Your story, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the previous 530 articles, we have presented a Art Festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecommunications fair, millets fair, climate change exhibition, wildlife conference, boot festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.
In this series of photo essays, we showcase artwork and creative ideas from participating artists Chitra Santhe 2021 (see our extended coverage here)
The online exhibition ended with a showcase of over 1000 Indian and foreign artists. Hosted by Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath in Bengaluru, the 18th annual art festival was held practically from January to March this year due to the pandemic.
See also Your story cover of six previous editions of Chitra Santhe: 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015, as well as compilations of Best quotes of 2020 on art in the age of the pandemic, Indian art, the appreciation and practice of art, and the beauty and business of art.
Bengaluru-based artist John Devaraj has compiled his take on the Ten commandments of art (watch the video 2020 here). He explains that art is about humanity, unity, love, beauty, joy, childhood and power. Art concerns the heart, it is also prophetic and revolutionary.
“Artists are understanding themselves, observing society critically and creating social expression,” John describes, in a conversation with Your story. Artists are deeply involved in interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships, as seen in the works of Vincent Van Gogh, Kathe Kollwitz and Diego Rivera.
The economy of art is distinct from artistic creation, he adds. “Anyone can do without jasmine. But the scent of jasmine intoxicates life, it is the essence of humanity and of love, ”says John.
He calls for a greater appreciation of art in society, starting with primary education. “Art is inherent and natural to Indian traditions like rangoli. But urbanization, computerization and zombisation has made a lot of people useless when it comes to art, ”laments John.
So many people have abandoned their intelligence to digital devices, and become slaves to consumerization and profits, he warns. “The practice of art is an alternative to this deprivation,” he explains.
His works exhibited at Chitra Santhe include the Black power art series. “It is my effort to enable people of color to live with courage and pride, with pride and dignity in the strength of their character, ”says John. His works are priced at Rs 50,000 for the paintings at Rs 10 lakh for the sculptures.
Although the pandemic has been tough on artists in terms of lost income and social distancing, John has spent time with painting, sculpture and music. “Online exhibitions have a much wider reach around the world,” he describes.
However, works of art like sculpture cannot be easily experienced online. “I spent many hours alongside Michelangelo David, touch it – it’s amazing. Seeing David in the books isn’t even a shadow of real work, ”says John.
“My sculpture of Charlie Chaplin in stone took me 100 days, working with 100 scissors a day, and 30,000 blows with a two-pound hammer every day. It’s rigorous and can’t be captured effectively in brochures and graphic design, ”he adds.
John also offers advice to aspiring artists. “There is no shortcut to art. Practice, practice and practice the art. Art is not a two-minute Maggi noodle soup, ”he emphasizes.
“Art is the oxygen of my life. I don’t remember when I developed this immense passion. But without art, I literally feel depressed, ”explains Priya Ghosh. The subject of the work directly or indirectly reflects the phase of life in which it is immersed.
“Art had been my anti stress since childhood. It was a hobby that won me various prizes in neighborhood contests, ”she recalls. She learned from art camps, workshops and mentors.
“Success for me as an artist is the improvement of my works. My works themselves guarantee me, ”Priya says. Now, she runs workshops and mentoring sessions herself, and friends and strangers have asked her on social media for requests for commissioned portraits.
She started with a MSc in Molecular Biology and Genetics but believes that art must also be respected and recognized as well as science and technology. “Unfortunately, people are used to judging a profession by the parameter of the money it makes,” Priya laments.
She calls for a greater appreciation of art in society through art camps, exhibitions, and ways for aspiring artists to connect and inspire each other. Priya continues to prepare to show better works every year at Chitra Santhe, as she Wisdom series of watercolors (see video here).
“In 2019, we went to the Chardham Yatra, where I was impressed by the peace in the smiles and eyes of various sadhus, ”she recalls. This became the inspiration for his thematic works.
His works of art are priced at Rs 600 to Rs 7000. “The highest price I get when one of my works is sold is its appreciation and honor, as well as the new wall it receives from its buyer,” Priya enthuses.
Although pandemic lockdowns have curtailed her outdoor activities, she has attended online workshops by renowned artists like Nishikant Palande.
“The downside to online exhibits is that there doesn’t seem to be a difference between an A4 or 6ft × 6ft painting. Meeting new people and getting their feedback is what I miss the most. ” she laments.
She also offers advice to budding artists. “Convenient, practical and practical. Don’t be demoralized by a job that seems to fail – learn from it and implement it next time, ”she suggests.
“Make your eyes the biggest critic of yourself. Don’t just fall for likes, comments, and shares of your work on social media. Instead, explore the works of other artists – just by seeing them, you can learn a lot of things, ”advises Priya.
José Luis Hernández “Chepe”
One of the international artists exhibiting at Chitra Santhe 2021 was José Luis Hernández “Chepe”, a graphic designer from Mexico. “Art is a creative manifestation that can be caused by external or internal situations of an artist,” he explains.
Artist: José Luis Hernández
“I believe there must be a balance between personal and commercial projects. In the personal sphere, one has to participate in competitions, exhibitions and festivals. In the commercial space, we must consolidate a business model that allows people to live outside of art, ”observes Chepe.
His works include posters and illustrations, priced at $ 200 and up for limited edition posters. Chepe calls for a wider appreciation of art in society through early childhood education in schools and forums on the importance of art to human beings.
He spent more time on artwork during the pandemic. “The advantages of online exposure are that there is no time constraint and viewers can come from anywhere in the world,” he describes.
“But I miss the coexistence with the public who visits exhibitions and their gratitude, ”says Chepe.
Artist: José Luis Hernández
“Budding artists must nourish their intellect through watch, read, see, observe and analyze. This will allow them to have the elements to form a demand criterion, ”he advises.
“Second, I recommend that you think like entrepreneurs, remove the taboo of the artist who suffers and must starve to be valued. Find the balance, ”Chepe concludes.
Now what is you done today to take a break from your busy schedule and find new ways to harness your inner creativity?
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