‘The subject of money has been on everybody’s mind’

‘The subject of money has been on everybody’s mind’

The Arushi Arts gallery is holding its annual group show, titled Harvest. According to Payal Kapoor, who runs the gallery, the 11th edition of Harvest is a special one, featuring two sets of shows. The first features Indian masters and other established veterans; the second, experimental art works by newer talent, from India as well as overseas. Edited excerpts from a conversation with Kapoor:

Tell us more about ‘Harvest’.

Harvest is our annual show and this is our 11th year of holding this festival. It is being held in two parts—Part 1 shows works by modern and contemporary masters; whereas Part 2 shows works by young artists under the title Paisa Paisa Money Money. The idea has always been to promote Indian contemporary art and to show emerging trends in contemporary art. Every year we show artists to watch out for and to invest in—those we feel are the future investments.

Why are you holding a group show featuring established artists?

It has been curated by the eminent art critic Suneet Chopra. Indian art has come of age, creating its own niche and language. The show features the father of modern Indian art Jamini Roy and then has works of masters such as S.H. Raza and M.F. Husain. Then we have artists such as Paresh Maity, Neeraj Goswami and Sanjay Bhattacharya; and the younger lot that includes artists such as Bratin Khan. There are also sculptures and photographs. Among the photographers featured are Raghu Rai, Navin Kishore and Karan Khanna.

What is the theme of the second part—titled ‘Paisa Paisa Money Money’?

It is about money as a necessity, as well as about money symbolizing and being associated with things like love, lust, greed and politics. The subject has been on everybody’s mind because of the recession. Owing the recession (which has affected the art market too) the artists have their own take on this subject. We also have artists from outside India—places such as Paris, Switzerland, China and Korea. The artists selected had to fit with the curatorial note and vision.

Any comparisons between the show featuring the masters and the one featuring new artists?

Both are necessary. Without the old you can’t have the new and without the new you can’t have the old. The masters have carved a path and a language for Indian art is developing. At the same time there is necessity for younger art to develop. So we promote contemporary art along with experimental art. It’s like a cycle, that has to go on. We showcase the masters and we showcase the experimental work that we like. The new generation is buying both.

Harvest 2010, the annual art affair, will show at Gallery Mall, MG Road, from 30 July–22 August, 11am-7pm, (Sundays closed).