The art scene has surprised me. The nimble global art community has devised new ways of providing us with our daily art diet, in decidedly altered circumstances.
For a medium that encourages direct interaction, the art world has kept its doors open, while we have had to close ours. While artists are solitary figures who live in lockdown anyway, this mandated “stay at home” has seen artists respond to Covid with strong, emotive works that touch the heart. Grateful to instanet that these young artists share their new creations, hot off the canvas.
Museums have hosted virtual galleries while local art galleries have not been left far behind. With many events being cancelled lately, rather than leaving us hanging in art withdrawal, many galleries have collaborated to post-digital exhibitions, much like a real live exhibition, only closer home. Intouch.in is one such collaboration where reputed galleries of the country have come together to present their curated artists online.
While a few leading artists enjoy the patronage of illustrious galleries, a vast majority of artists have independent practices. The lockdown was not going to leave these young artists unsupported. There have been ongoing online sales to support artists.
A few artists have donated their work to support charities. In an impromptu act of spontaneity, director Farah Khan’s daughter Anya not only auctioned her sketches to support COVID charity drive but also won the hearts of actors like Abhishek Bachchan who gave generously to the drive.
There have been contests on Instagram, with cash prizes, to let the best artist win. In a groundbreaking move, The Museum of Modern Art ( MoMA) and Coursera have teamed up to send everyone back to school by providing art appreciation and design classes online for free.
In Mumbai, every second Thursday of the month is Art Night Thursday, when art galleries throw open their doors to the public, all evening. It is a bit like a mardi gras of the arts, an event I look forward to every month.
Hordes of art lovers, troop into the otherwise hallowed halls of the city’s galleries that evening. Understandably in the time of COVID, “real” art walks have had to be suspended.
No matter, as the show has to go on; as it did. @carpearteofficial hosted a virtual art walk, where a number of galleries participated. Can’t wait for normalcy to return though, to actually “art walk”. Until that time, we still indulge virtually.
Art begins at home. Closer home, Assam celebrated the opening of the first private art gallery in Jorhat, Vision Art Asom, with a well-attended exhibition hosted by an artists guild, Rang. We have only just begun. Here’s looking forward to more art, closer home.
(Rita Roy Choudhury writes on Art, Culture and Design, and is based in Mumbai)