The first weeks of the year saw Chitrakala Parishath brimming with a profusion of colour and creativity. And why not? It was time for the Chitra Santhe, the annual art fair of the city. What was interesting was the art show by five artists just before the Chitra Santhe, at Venkatappa Art Gallery, titled Quinary where only one language ruled — passion. Featuring five artists, Naely Shyamala, Manaswini, Divya, Harish and Thayada Shamshuddin, the works of Shamshuddin were the most impressive, considering that he is a scientist with ISRO. The finesse and impressionistic techniques he portrays are spectacular. Predominantly done with oils, his enormous talent is proof enough that Shamshuddin could have a wonderful and promising career as an artist. His works give us infinite room to think, experience and imagine.
Chitra Santhe or the Kumbh Mela of art got off to the expected start. The difference this time was in the diverse works displayed. Most works displayed were neat, imbued quality unlike the earlier showings. The committee did a good job in selecting appropriate artworks to display. The crowd came in huge numbers and what set Chitra Santhe apart from the rest of the fairs is the people of Bangalore and their attitude towards art. It is heartening to see people coming in huge numbers, and not only have encouraging words for the artists but also buying works, something that matters a lot to upcoming artists. While the artists this time were majorly from Karnataka, there were artists from Gujarat, Chennai, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala too. One strong contingent was from Maharasthra, many who travelled from Bharati Vidyapeeth College of Fine Arts, Pune. The vice-principal of the college, Rupesh Pawar, who also is an artist, was visibly thrilled by the fair. A young artist Priya Sawale from Pune said, “I managed to sell my prints and etchings and gained tremendous appreciation, which was even more valuable to me.” Another self-taught artist, Kamakshi S, who is in her late 60s displayed some of her works and felt that the experience was wonderful. The art fair was a huge commercial success too, considering the GST situation now, looks like nothing had an effect on sales. Chitra Santhe is becoming a serious art affair nationally, and it looks like sooner than later, Bengaluru is turning into the art hub of the south.