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Art for everyone

Vinyasa's fifth show of affordable art is on till June 25


PAINTINGS COVER every surface of the Vinyasa Art Gallery — the works of young artists hang on the walls and numerous prints of well-known artists are scattered on a broad low platform in the centre of the gallery. There's art everywhere and for everyone at the gallery's fifth affordable art show. From intricate pen-and-ink sketches of old Madras to Rembrandt reproductions to confused collages, there's a little bit of something for the greenest of art collectors. At least 50 artists are displaying their work, selling at discounted rates to make art accessible to all.

M. Azhagesan's work stands out — he works with oil using a palette knife to slather on his paint, creating graceful ballerinas, intense violinists and cheerful landscapes. There's a careless precision in his work that adds to the beauty. He's even got greeting cards on display at Rs. 15 apiece.

Omswami's watercolours are bright with mildly exaggerated figures which are striking, while G. Madhavan follows the classical path, with the bulk of his paintings being Rembrandt reproductions. The work ranges from sketches of traditional temple figures to watercolours of village scenes and even mirrors with decorated frames. Prices are between Rs. 900 and Rs. 6,000. Gopal Subhedar and Anand Panchal are the only two artists whose works cross the Rs. 6,000 mark, but they've just six paintings on display.

Raja Ravi Varma dominates the show though, with a huge collection of prints and reproductions starting from Rs. 60, brought to Chennai by Temple Trees of Bangalore. There are a couple of Yusuf Arakkal prints, Picasso reproductions and some traditional Nepali art. Magazine covers from the 1960s and 70s, photographs and newspaper clippings of important political events in Indian history have been carefully pasted on to handmade paper and covered with plastic. There are old covers of the Illustrated Weekly of India, Newsweek, a 1970 issue of Femina and Time magazine covers with Chou-en-Lai, Gorbachev and the disintegration of the Soviet Union.

Even if you're not buying, it's a good idea to wander through and look at the art. Just observing the styles and techniques, and soaking in the feeling of being surrounded by so much talent is an interesting way to spend an afternoon.

The affordable art exhibition is on till June 25, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Vinyasa Art Gallery, Music Academy premises, TTK Road.

SHALINI UMACHANDRAN

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