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Aspiring debutants at the India Art Fair

Abhishek Dixit

Over the years, many well-established galleries have participated in the India Art Fair and showcased their works, and it is no wonder why it is the talk of the town. As artists from all over India and other parts of the world have gathered to make this festival one of its kind. This year is no different as it has attracted many new galleries to showcase their works. Some of them are 079 Stories and Iram Art Gallery. It is interesting to note that both these galleries have a lot of great work in their exhibition, which will make you think about the depth of the work. Iram Gallery’s artist Rakesh Patel used upcycled art, which is a unique type of creative artwork made from discarded materials. At its core, recycled art is about repurposing materials and nature conservation. The underlying message behind all recycled art is in the title itself: Recycle. While each piece has meanings and themes that vary greatly, at its heart the notion of repurposing supplies into sculptures sends a strong message in itself that we should follow suit.

“My work began as a way of finding myself and my connection with the divine. Mythology and Gods always attracted me to understand the truth deeply and that inspired me to create a courtyard for Gods. We have a place in Ahmedabad where they make small temples for homes. The same wood that is used for the temple is taken to another place or discarded by some families. Thus, this particular philosophy allowed me to delve deeper into this theme.”

Rakesh Patel with his artwork

The motif of the Eye and Bindi that he has used is a descriptive sketch of the faith, meditation, and diversity that prevails and graces our culture. He feels that India’s oldest cultural significance is what repeatedly inspires him in his art practice. These eyes represent that some form of energy is always watching all human beings, and we cannot run away from it. Bindi represents the spirit of feminism. The colour chosen is blue representing the gods, Vishnu and Shiva, while in other works orange and red represent all the goddesses, as it defines the colour of vermilion, which is associated with fertility. A religious symbol.

Vipul Prajapati with his artwork

While Vipul Prajapati from 079 Stories Gallery has deep roots in his childhood. He started his career in landscapes after watching his father do the same. However, he was interested in the rusted parts of dockyards and machines, which fascinated him because of their beauty of being unused and untouched by humans. For him, those machines were capable enough to do the job on their own and thus this was something that inspired him to try to landscape with just charcoal. “My colour palette is very poor and thus, I do not like to do this. I then tried to use gray and now gray is my new colour.” His work constitutes a romantic understanding of machines. His philosophy is to inquire whether “machines can think.” His work involves rawness and shows a great deal of connection with machines. He uses his machines in his work as a “hero” and wants people to examine the physical relationship with things.

There is no doubt that the new galleries are being well received. This will surely motivate them to come next year as well. These new entrants should be checked out by art lovers at this year’s India Art Fair.