Art it seems has prostituted itself . Cinema has for long now, ascribed to the reasoning and rationale that ‘only two things sell in india, Sex and Shah Rukh Khan’. Having thus absolved themselves of responsibility of turning heroines into item numbers, and using profane sexual innuendoes to keep the box office registers clicking, they were resigned to the phenomenon of altered metaphors in cinematic language having taken centrestage. After all, they averred, art and commerce had to go hand in hand for either to survive.
As is wont to occur, this trend spread eagled itself into other artistic spheres. Recently, two wannabe ‘artists’ held an exhibition of their paintings and named it, hold your breath, ‘Tits, clits n Elephant dick’.. and mind you this was not the irreverent Salvador Dali known for his outrageous declarations as much as his artistic creations, but two conservative, middle class, vernacular educated team of Sanjeev Khandekar and Vaishali Narkar.
They were more comfortable speaking Marathi and Hindi, by their own submission, having been brought up in Sangli. Then why this monstrosity? Shock Value? Both had this to say:
Yes the shock was necessary,” she says. “We are all living with masks. This is a protest against hypocrisy and urban decay.” Khandekar has certainly made a career out of protest and provocation. Last year, in a show at Pandole gallery, again intriguingly entitled ‘La Peau de Chagrin’ from a novel by Balzac, he used an installation of a human body infested with 15,000 insects, including maggots. In his 2005 ‘All I Wanna do’, the 47-year-old artist had installations of 150 human organs (10 intestines, 15 livers etc) strung out like lamps. “People were disconcerted by the image of the digestive system hanging in the air, and by the fact I had reduced them to beings who merely eat and shit,” says Khandekar
“One reassuring thing about modern art is things cant be as bad as they are painted”..Thank God for small mercies!
Where and how does art figure in either their declarations or choice of paintings is subjective. What is pertinent is the short cut to fame that seems to have been adopted as the New Age Mantra. To make something out of nothing and sell it as everything, is an art by itself presumably.
For some, it is ones work that creats its own energy of acceptance or dismissal, fame or obscurity. To be sincere to its primary dictates is the means to the end. For others, art is a medium to catapult one self into the league of the famous and outrageous. Art then defies all..even their own inner need for true expression.
Its a free world.. ideally. Each one of us opts to express ourselves in a manner which satisfies the innermost craving of our soul on the one hand, simultaneously, we are moved by that which caters to the cry of our hearts. So who finally chooses what to expostulate and patronise is a matter of personal prerogatives. And I daresay, tell-tale.
Time is of great import here. If those that stand the test of time are indeed worthy of their lot, then it is time which will soon proclaim what denotes creativity and connotes undying success. Till such time, let those to who the peripheries of materialism dictate all, rule the roost.
” Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life”..Pablo Picasso. Wonder what would have been his reaction to this ‘art’ , soul and everyday life!