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Deciphering art for the common man

Most of us keep away from a gallery or an art exhibition, simply because we fail to understand the medium. A new venture by K.K. Hebbar Foundation with Renaissance Gallerie vows to make art more reachable.


Rajani Hebbar, Governor V.S. Ramadevi, Shreen Mallani, and S.G. Vasudev seen at the inauguration of K.K. Hebbar Foundation.

SHE IS savvy, and confident. Known as one who always launches her shows in style, she ensures that the bigwigs from the City attend them.

This is Shreen Mallani, a name synonymous with the Renaissance Gallerie, Cunningham Road.

Rajani Hebbar, the daughter of the renowned artist, K.K. Hebbar, on the other hand, is a quite worker and observer, she came to Bangalore five years ago. Introduced to the art of painting early in life, the fact that she chose to become an art historian did not come as a surprise.

Having completed her masters in Ancient Art and Culture, Ms. Hebbar is somebody "who can recognise a tiny spark of talent,'' and makes it a point to encourage the talent.

Infact, Ms. Hebbar has also documented works of most young artists. "Being a part of any art field involves a tremendous amount of dedication and patience,'' says the lady who has taught art in the J.J. School of Art, Mumbai. Two of her students — Vidya Chitre and Madhao Imartey — were a part of the show.

A trustee of the K.K. Hebbar Foundation, she has been sponsoring various young artists.

K.K. Hebbar Foundation, formed in 1991-92, has been encouraging art-related activities in Mumbai.


Suresh Jayaram's work..

It now aims to "promote art and culture with special emphasis on young, talented and needy artists'' in Bangalore.

On-the-spot art competition, in which 600 children from municipal schools in Mumbai participated, the seminar on art at Jehangir Art Gallery, Mumbai, and a two-day workshop in Bijapur where artists from Belgaum and Dharwad interacted with one another, have been some of its popular activities.

Ms. Hebbar and Ms. Mallani "share a perfect working chemistry'' and came together for a show that showcased the works of four young artists — Ramdas Adyanthaya, Vidya Chitra, Suresh Jayaram, and Madhao Imartey.

The show, which was inaugurated at the Leela Palace by the Governor, V.S. Rama Devi, and the artist, S.G. Vasudev, on April 12, seemed to go beyond just an art show.

The inaugural day concentrated on topics such as "How to popularise art in the City and get more people visit the galleries''

Art exhibitions and shows are not new to Bangalore. The City has several galleries that have displayed canvasses and papers splashed with colours that emote some of the artist's deepest emotions and desires.

Most of the works are untitled or do not have a note from its creator. "I want people to make their own interpretations,'' is what most artists say about their abstract works.

But the common complaint by viewers is: "We don't understand these paintings.''

The Governor suggested that "Artists should make it a point to write a note about their work so that everyone will be able to interpret the work correctly.

"There should also be some kind of interaction between the artist and the viewer.''

She also said that every individual should ''make an effort to understand paintings.'' She touched upon the struggle of artists who only "get recognition after the age of 60. Why wait that long'' she asked, and added that corporates and foundations such as K.K. Hebbar Foundation should come forward to help artists.

What did Ms. Mallani and Ms. Hebbar feel about the Governor's ideas?

"We will surely incorporate her suggestions. As of now, we do hand out catalogues. But most people don't read through them. "Now we have to think of other means such as pinning them up along with their works. Our aim is to make people understand difficult works of art in a simple manner,'' said Ms. Hebbar. ``We will come out with more shows. But each show will be different as we do not want to repeat ourselves. Our aim is to introduce new things to Bangaloreans. Art is like Chinese food. The more you try it the more you learn to appreciate it,'' they said.

The paintings were shifted to the Renaissance Gallerie where they were displayed for a week. K.K. Hebbar Foundation can be contacted on 5597643.

SHILPA SEBASTIAN ROMELES

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