There are a few moments in life when I get an adrenaline rush, but then there are those when you enter a space and just don’t want to leave. I got this feeling last year when I stepped into Disneyland, and by far for 2014 it was stepping into The India Art Fair.
The 6th edition of the fair, and my third time here, it just keeps getting better. I am not the most proficient person when it comes to art, but something that catches my eye, and I don’t get bored staring at it for a while, definitely qualifies. The Art Fair is a great set-up, these 10 people put up a show in India like no other, galleries and artists from all over the world are invited to take part. This four-day art fair is such a brilliantly conceptualised event, though still four days feel short to see it all.
With about 91 booths from 21 countries, the event doesn’t limit itself to art connoisseurs, in fact it’s open to all, specially students. I was pretty lucky that I got to witness the coming up of the fair literally from the start thanks to Saheba Sodhi and my teacher Maneesh Aggarwal. From the setting up of trusses to the excitement building up to the Big Day, I saw it all. Art is something extremely subjective, I just feel that the people who can create something so beautiful, must have souls crafted in a unique way. The play of textures, materials, canvases, inspirations and so much more is something that words can’t do justice to.
While I roamed all around the fair, absorbing in all I could, I had the honour of meeting a man, we all are proud of today, Subodh Gupta. One of my favourite installations at the fair was Gupta’s creation, a heart made of brass tongs. I just kept staring, when I realised Gupta was standing next to me, and afterwards I just couldn’t stop gushing.
While the fair hosts the veterans and the legends like Satish Gujral, MF Hussain, Picasso and more, they display new upcoming talent with the equal amount of enthusiasm.
Some of my favourite pieces included Plastic Bags by Pascale Marthine Tayou, an installation made of plastic bags. David Gerstein with his stunning installations was another favourite, The Strokes and Cyclist with butterflies being my absolute favourites. I also enjoyed the works of many others including Revati Sharma Singh, Samatha Batra Mehta, Subodh Kerkar to name a few. I’m not a great photographer, but I did manage to sneak in a few pictures through my phone (tweaked them and instagrammed them a bit).
The greatest part about the fair, is their speakers forum, each edition they invite artists, gallery owners and a lot many other professionals from the field of art to share their views, and take part in debates with the audience. I was lucky enough to catch up on a few, including one by Peter Fischli from the duo of Fischli/Weiss who spoke on the topic of The Artists’ Panel and said “We do take steps to show things in their true light.” Samarth Banerjee, a graphic novelist spoke to Fischli about humour and its possibilities in art. Another one I made it to was Bharti Kher, a women responsible for a kind of revolution in the contemporary art scene in India in the mid-nineties.
The fair had something for everybody, jewellery by Nirav Modi can’t go without a mention, each of his pieces crafted in a way that they’re nothing less than collectibles. For a food and fashion enthusiast like me spotting my favourite Chez Nini ( and a lot of other great restaurants) was a treat, just as much as it was eyeing a few artists inspired by Coco Chanel.
I also caught up with a few other art lovers and asked them what they thought of this edition of India Art Fair…
Can’t wait to see what they come up with next year, if you missed it this time, make sure you do attend the next edition.
For more information, you can always log on to www.indiaartfair.in, or follow them on Instagram @indiaartfair.