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Cart away some art

If you want to build an art collection, this is one place you can check out



Prabha Kamath at her gallery, The Final Touch

YOU WALK in to this gallery and you have arrived at a completely different world. A world of art and frames, of colour and charcoal, of ethnic prints and contemporary style, of eye-catching landscapes and abstract art — a world which is so very new and different to Mangalore that you are left wondering, is this for real in this artistically-starved city?

Finishing touch

"We named this gallery The Final Touch because we feel a frame gives that perfect finishing touch to a painting or a picture, and these pieces of art in turn give that complete look to one's home," says Prabha Kamath, who along with her husband Satish Kamath started this gallery in March 2000.

The gallery has the choicest of paintings done by local artists as well as other well-known ones from Mumbai, Bangalore and Udupi. And what's more, because the Kamaths' interests extend beyond art to frames, the gallery also gives you the choice of picking the frames of your choice.

"We have a collection of over 50 different varieties of frames and mounts and our customers can choose the look they want to give their painting or photograph," says Prabha.

Buying art may have caught on in the big metros, but in good old Mangalore, people still walk past an exquisite piece once they've done with the staggering after a dekko at the price tag! A fact ascertained by Prabha. "Ever since we started off and even now, people from Kerala, Bhatkal, Bangalore, Hassan and Chikmagalur are our regular customers rather than the average Mangalorean."

Much of this attitude perhaps has to do with the kind of exposure to art. "There is a lot of Gulf influence in places like Kerala or Bhatkal and people there know the value of art," adds Prabha.

In Mangalore, landscapes, floral pattern and folk art that move faster off the shelf than abstract or surreal paintings. "People here prefer art that is straightforward, something which does not entail interpretation, like abstract art."

Price tags

The works of well-known Mumbai-based artists such as Subroto Sen, Chaitali Rao and Bhaskar Rao are also available at the gallery.

And the price tags seem quite reasonable if one compares it to those galleries in the metros.

Various media such as watercolour, charcoal, and oil on canvas have been used; sketches too form part of the collection.

The gallery also has a host of Madhubani, Tanjavur, Rajasthani miniatures and folk art.

The Kamaths' deep insight and interest in art make it a pleasant shopping experience with a bit of their knowledge thrown in for the layman, so as to keep him informed of the latest trends. For aspirants, it is a comfort zone in the city.

The Final Touch can be reached at Pailands Plaza in Falnir or at 2444020. You can e-mail the store at snkpr@sancharnet.in.

ANJU NARAYANAN

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