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India Art Fair New Delhi: Where to see and be seen with arty crowd | Coastweek

NEW DELHI India -- Exhibits at the India Art Fair included (clockwise from top left): Radha: One of K. S. Radhakrishnan’s massive open air sculptures dominated a hall as it showed the struggle of Musui to reach the heights. Modi-Gandhi: This huge collage of Gandhi and Modi created a great deal of buzz as it came soon after Narendera Modi took office. Musui: K.S. Radhakrishnan is one of the most notable among the new generation of sculptors who uses an icon, Musui to represent a supple young man in diverse and elegant postures. Laxmi: The Goddess of Wealth, Laxmi, is a best seller and popular to bless the buyer. Man in Box: Intriguing sculpture of modern man in modern times with abstract identity and numerals was favourite for selfies. PHOTOS - KUL BHUSHAN


India Art Fair New Delhi: Where to see and be seen with arty crowd

NEW DELHI India -- The 80,000-odd visitors expected to throng the India Art Fair in New Delhi between 28 and 31 January 2016 will make up an eclectic crowd, writes Swami Anand Kul Bhushan.

On the first day, reserved for art buyers, you will see well-dressed art connoisseurs critically eyeing works for long term investment. With hushed tones and polite conversation, deals are concluded.

No haggling here!

Next day, when the fair is open to all, you see throngs of upper middle-class and middle class people staring at exhibits as they are thrilled with the imagination of the artists.

Soon, hordes of art students also troop in gawking at the ‘masterpieces’ with ooohs and aaahs, while chattering when they, too, will make it.

In between, you have people trooping in and out of lectures, performances, curated walks, book launches and serious discussions on art trends; shopping for art books and art materials or sipping tea or coffee at the cafeteria.

Started in 2008, the India Art Fair has become South Asia’s premier art event.

Showcasing over 300 galleries, both Indian and foreign, of 3,000 artists in around 90 booths, it draws visitors from over 25 countries as the prime showcase for Indian and global artists.

Saturated media coverage of the rich and famous artists and celebrities focuses on artworks that catch the eye.

Major corporations and banks sponsor this event to garner goodwill.

Starting modestly in the national exhibition area, it moved to bigger venue in South Delhi, the NSIC grounds where in imported air-conditioned tents are erected.

This fair has eclipsed Mumbai as the top centre for Indian art.

Mumbai has always enjoyed this prime position for long.

Now as almost all major Mumbai galleries exhibit here, it is hard to digest this one-upmanship.

Many, but not all, galleries report good sales. Total figures are hard to come by.


India Art Fair New Delhi: Where to see and be seen with arty crowd | Coastweek

NEW DELHI India -- Hearts: So many luminous hearts made visitors pause and ponder if they could be romantic too. PHOTO - KUL BHUSHAN
But it is worthwhile coming here year after year as the organisers always claim an increase over the past year.

Art has become an important part of any well-balanced investment portfolio and Indian art has arrived on the global scene with high prices it fetches in international auctions. Indian art has become a smart purchase for overseas Indians to display in their mansions and so they scout here for works that interest them.

Sales can be boosted with simpler customs rules by India.

Founder director of this show, Neha Kirpal complains of Indian customs rules to be relaxed or rationalized about the import and export of art for this event.

Art students and school children are an important part of this fair which aims to increase art awareness and appreciation among the youth.

Then art awareness is promoted in the new upper middle class and middle class who come to admire art, and may also end buying a painting or two and start their collections.

Global art critics and experts find it a pleasant meeting place to exchange ideas and trends in a different environment from the west and go back with an appreciation of what is happening on the art scene in India.

It’s an event to see and be seen.



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