The India Art Festival (IAF), is India’s biggest and only contemporary art fair and network, founded in 2011, hosting art fairs at New Delhi, Bengaluru and Mumbai. A flagship Art Fair brand, it is a new model for dialogue and collaborations between art galleries, artists, art connoisseurs, interior designers and architects. It provides an opportunity to emerging, independent artists and mid-level art galleries, to benefit and be discovered along with the major galleries and established artists, thus creating an enriching ambience for viewing art, buying and selling, outside the confines of unapproachable art spaces.
Initially, an advisory board/management committee was formed headed by Dr Saryu Doshi as President, late Prafulla Dahanukar as Chairman, and Anupa Mehta advising on marketing and VIP relations. The current Managing Director, Rajendra, (then a director), was entrusted with implementing strategies and coordinating with the advisory board. Art critic Ranjit Hoskote has also been part of the advisory board.
A GOAN ARTIST
This year, twenty five galleries from Udaipur, Agartala, Shantiniketan, New Delhi, Gurgaon, Mumbai, Nodia, Kolkota, Ghaziabd, with 450 artists and 4,500 art works will take part in the art fair. Also included, is an artist from Goa, Mohan Naik, who needs no introduction, and has previously had two shows with thecurators.art gallery in Mumbai, and the gallery has chosen two paintings to exhibit at the Art Fair from October 13 - October 19, in New Delhi.
Since Mohan began his career several decades ago, he has created his own distinctive idiom, depicting rural life in Goa. His signature is projecting the ethos of the idyllic atmosphere, and over the years has expanded his repertoire to forms and motifs.
His large format paintings are filled with stylized figures, the lank limbs of the elongated figures in traditional garbs, large luminous spaces, flora and fauna, dappled light filtering through trees, cool shadows in a bright colour palette.
One cannot overlook his mastery over the expressive poses, their dignity of calm and cheerfulness in accepting their life. Mohan has also approached traditional themes of the Radha Krishna romance which aptly fit into the pastoral milieu.
Artists and nature have a symbolic relationship that goes beyond physical dependency, hovering on a spiritual plane. Mohan is aware of the vagaries of industrial development, and triggers emotions in remodelled reality in the jaded skin of buoyant figures. Each goat in the herd has a singular expression in their glinting eyes.
He’s a revivalist, as seen in the transient moments frozen in documenting the rural scenario; and acts as a conservator for traditional pictorial form, in sync with contemporary documentation, that trigger emotions for the viewer.
A sensitive and soft spoke person, who has acquired fame without “godfathers”, opines, “This is the first time I’m exhibiting in the India Art Fair and humbled that my work has been selected for this prestigious event, where it will be viewed by numerous art lovers.”
Although his theme is consistent, with every show, he has displayed his repertoire with subtle transformation, aware of the technical advances around him. He remains grounded, remodelling reality in his personal technique in creating an old world charm.
The India Art Festival is on exhibit from October 13, 2022 - October 19, 2022 (11 am - 8 pm) at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi