As clichéd as it may sound, the expression, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, has been used by many since it was first coined by writer Margaret Wolfe Hungerford. However, the million-dollar question is if we really understand what this means? Can anything and everything be put on the table in the name of art? At various occasions recently, art installations at different occasions have faced the ire of critics for being too bland and not being artsy enough. The lack of connection between the artwork and the artist is getting evident day by day through their artworks.
Elaborating on what is going wrong amongst the new crop of artists and art students, veteran artist Laxma Goud says, “Most of the current generation artists are busy following others’ footsteps without understanding. Art needs to be understood first by the artists and only then will it be possible for them to make people aware of their work. It is not that only conventional paintings are artworks, but even art installations need to have some science, aesthetic and thought behind it. You can’t put different random things together and call it art.”
Further adding he says, “I believe the main reason behind the new generation struggling to get a strong foothold is their lack of knowledge and skill. There’s dearth of talent and effort right from top to bottom. Even art at public spaces are being promoted by people who are ignorant about the subject. Thus, the end result is that the city is suffering in the name of beautification.” According to him, as most of the fine arts students come from a rural background, they need name and fame.
Resonating the same about the lack of proper guidance and that the artworks done by new artists are not actually the conventional “art”, another veteran artist Surya Prakash points out, “Every art starts as an idea and then you need to have the skill to make it a masterpiece. When one starts giving his or her idea to other artists who help in the making of the piece, the original conception of idea is lost and the artist loses the right to claim the final artwork as their exclusive piece.” But for Surya Prakash, what makes more sense is that all these tiny bits of effort are in a way helping art survive.
For another veteran name in the art field, Thota Vaikuntam, upcoming artists are faltering when it comes to the lack of conventional approach towards art education. “Earlier, when we were art students, we use to learn the conventional way of learning with human forms. But now everything has changed,” shares Vaikuntam.
Apart from lack of dedicated guidance from teachers, the art students from the city are also facing lack of proper infrastructure. For every art student to become an artist, there are few things that they need. One of them is being able to have an access a studio, where they can do their work and explore their creativity, feels K. Srinivasa Chari, Head of Department, Department of Sculpture & Painting, Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University. “When I was a student in the university, there was immense lack of infrastructure. Even though it has improved a lot now, a lot needs to be done. Mainly, the students need to have an access to studios and exposure,” he says.
But according to Laxman Aelay, all is not lost for art students and upcoming artists as they are not only following the conventional path of becoming a practising artist but also going into different creative fields. “Some of the upcoming artists are doing good work and even participating in various biennales. Step by step, the art scenario is improving in the city,” concludes Aelay....