Monday, 2 November 2009

I'm begining to doze off to sleep these days....!

I sometimes feel we are getting carried away in India with the desire to present ourselves as "cutting edge and trendy" artists! The scope to "tolerate"(?!), because to dismiss may appear politically incorrect (??!!), is now too obviously back firing on us all with the amount of visual and conceptual drivel that is so completely off the supposedly intended mark! The desperation amongst the young artists of late to look "with it", has brought an onslaught of experimental works (this label stands for everything that is often nothing!) as the newer generations "offerings" which are often trivial nonsense being paraded as profundity!

Yawn! When can we hope for better sense to prevail amongst this new generation of smart kids?! Rubbish texts and inconsequential ideas, badly executed work and ill-informed and unsubstantiated "references" to allude at god knows what, that are dressed up to look ambiguous (that's the quick fix to art.....make everything ambiguous and it should work!), are in fact merely shallow attempts at pseudo intellectualism! I'm sure that these statements of mine are going to receive the catapult reaction that suggests that my opinions stem from conservative ideas of a middle aged artist who believes art must conform to the representations of painting, sculpture and printmaking. But for anyone who is looking around to cast this stone of accusation at me, do halt in your tracks because dear faint heart, such rhetoric is the escapist argument for the paucity of good art being delivered and everyone as a result being short changed!

The depth within the works of artists like Shilpa Gupta, Sheila Gowda or the late Rummana Hussain is hard to find amongst the hordes of youngsters today, and yes what a tribute that these three are women artists who besides their great art, share the unique commonality of never having courted media publicity or the desire to seek the attention of flashing camera bulbs to be the poster babes of page 3 in the culture circuit! Great art comes from a realm of introspection and commitment with the self, to be honest and real. And these three women posses the courage to have walked the talk with no half measures. Not a difficult lesson to learn, but a very hard practice to live by. Are the young Indian artists up to this challenge? We need to wait and watch.....but the clock is definitely ticking!

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