Neighbourhood Lifestyle Desk/Avi Arya: Arts-cape in Delhi has changed enormously since the time when Mandi House used to be a hub of visual artists meeting every evening. Today, the opening of exhibitions witnesses parties, which get talked about, and curators, who are often mixed with sales agents.
On the occasion of World Art Day, April 15, some of Delhi-based painters, sculptures, and curators shared their views on the remodelled art scene in in the Capital:
“The trees in Delhi are so fascinating and inspirational. Some of them are more than 100 years old, embedded in old buildings, and have a character of their own.” — Seema Kohli
“Today more people are aware of art. In the ’80s when we ventured out, there were hardly any galleries in Delhi. Today, even the terminologies have changed – collectors who became buyers are now referred to as clients by the galleries. But, the good part of the art scene is that there is multi-layered space for everyone, including the young artists. Some galleries are functioning like private museums, which bring assurance in art.”
“I love to paint the old quarters of Delhi such as Chandni Chowk. Initially, when I came to Delhi, I painted Old Delhi a lot. In 2010, I painted Hanumanji that you see on Pusa road, because that’s the connector of Delhi.” — Sanjay Bhattacharyya
“When recession happened, the art world felt its heat, and demonstration made it suffer all the more. Established artists have managed to survive because people buy their works seeing their signature, but I got to know that many young painters, who had come to Delhi from different parts of the country, had to go back… The price of a painting after 12% GST is much more and buyers have a habit of bargaining; it’s not possible for the young artists to survive in this scenario. Plus, there’s a lot of paperwork involved, which artists aren’t used to. If this continues, artists will go back to working as teachers in art school during the day and take up painting as part-time only.”