Monday, 25 May 2009

Much ado about nothing?

There is so much being talked about regarding the crisis in the art market and it's effect on art. I find it all a bit confusing because the people making the most noise about it isn't always the artists ! For many of us, we joined art schools knowing fully well that it may not be a profession that may ever yield huge profits in our life time, and what led us to being artist's was our own need and desire to use methods of creative expression to articulate ourselves.
The patronage of art is not new to India, and ever since I left art college I have had the fortune of opportunity to be a full time painter, because others have supported my belief in myself by engaging with my work. The gallery system in India has always been a hugely supportive enterprise where the directors of such institutions, especially the premier galleries of India, choose to forge extremely close and caring relationships with their artists. These friendships transcend mere professional gains and are cherished spaces of human rapport.
For me the romance of being an artist is still something I wish to preserve. The specialness of the time I spend with myself in my studio, and my own involvement with my work is the ultimate meditative space, and I hold this as being one of the most relevant factors of my existence. I am not in any way refuting the freedom one receives through monetary stability, but it is certainly not this alone that drives me to paint each day. Survival is an essential fact of life and whether I was an artist or not, I would have always had to factor that condition of independence into my life.
I love being a painter and know that it isn't possible for those who do not know it's delight, to ever comprehend the pure joy of that time with ones work that suspends all else. It is therefore my humble request to all those who think that the first question they must confront me with should be about the recession and it's effect on the art world, to please do think again. My world of art will always exist, and I will always paint through the ups and downs if any; and I hope that immaterial to what the stock market heralds as the forecast, there will always be someone out there who needs for their sensibility to be intoxicated by the nasha of another's creative sensibilities, and for art therefore to always have it's rightful audience and be something coveted and desired!

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