Baroda has the best art school in the entire nation of India. This means that Baroda has a thriving art scene. Two thousand artists live here. It’s really not THAT big of place! I went to two openings yesterday and it was like nothing I had ever seen before. The first one was at a gallery called Nazar in Lal Bangalow (red mansion). There was a nice flow to the space and a few interesting pieces. Outside there was a full spread of all kinds of foods and drinks. Since Gujarat is a dry state, there was no alcohol like in the states. The next opening we went to was put together for women’s day. We got there and it was elaborate, a little crazy in my opinion. There was so much to look at and the first thing I said was: “where’s the art?” All these ladies were dressed to the nines and I was still in my studio clothes. Most weddings in America aren’t even that fancy.
The thing you have to understand about artists in India is that there is little creativity. I am almost more impressed by the traditional crafts and designs you find. There is real technique behind all that work. The main person in charge at Chhaap was explaining to me that if you tell students to come up with their own idea they have literally no idea what to do. She said if you tell them make a 4X4 drawing with a flower here and a leaf there, they would be able to do that. I did not think that would be the case at all.
While I am at Chhaap, I am going to conduct a lecture, workshop and have a show of my own at the end. I am so excited to get working. I started making some small paintings yesterday. I decided that they look a little too happy for my taste. Since when is that a bad thing? Ha!