Art News & Views

Musings from Chennai

The Chennai art scenario in the last month was dominated by “Masked Realities', a solo show of R.Magesh's works. The exhibition consisted of paintings, installations and sculptures, all of which were linked through the use of the pig as a common motif. The pig with its shiny pink body and 'cute' smiling expression had an appeal that challenged notions of stupidity and danger (in the wake of swine flu) that have been attributed to it. Furthermore one could feel a kinship with the pig rather than with the human being who looked like an alien wearing a gas mask. He satirizes the thinking mind of the human, who kills other beings (the pig) for his own follies, by representing the human brain as a pink fleshy, repulsive looking mass. To sum up, R.Magesh's solo show was extremely interesting and one wishes that there were more such shows in the city.

Dakshinachitra hosted a group show by artists of Shilpataru Art Foundation, Pondicherry consisting of paintings, sculptures, ceramics and digital prints. The most interesting works in the show were D.Saravanan's assemblages made from found objects. Mating dragon flies and a pack of young turtles following their mother, through the use of scrap metal and discarded spare parts referred to death and at the same time also to life because the works thematically referred to creation and propagation.

Cholamandal which had undergone a revamp last year with the addition of a Centre for Contemporary Art last year with a museum for the Madras Art Movement and two galleries that are available for rent also opened an Iranian- Mediterranean Art Café. Shiraz Art Café is based on the concept in Western Museums where experiencing art is also linked to food.

As wall after wall of Chennai is being covered with paintings that are predominantly illustrative in a quality that fluctuates greatly, one begins to feel the urge to open up debate on the nature of public art in the city. However at the same time, another new art form seems to be making its entry into public arena- that of making elaborate serial light designs. With the Chief Minister's birthday being celebrated in grand style, all arterial roads were lined with animated portraits (single as well as group) of important political leaders; all of them not painted or printed but lit up through serial lights propped on a bamboo frame.


Vaishnavi Ramanathan





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art etc. news & views is a monthly magazine published from India in order to promote art and culture. It intends to raise awareness about art all around India and the world. The magazine covers art exhibitions, auction highlights, market trends, art happenings besides Antique, Collectibles, Fashion, Jewellery, Vintage, Furniture, Film, Music and Culture.