Monday, February 4, 2013

Art School Confidential

Call me a boring banker with no appreciation of art and culture, call me a corporate slave with no creativity or call me a one dimensional narrow individual with no sense of the finer aspects of life: like painting, like craft like abstract art…

Like the Kala Ghoda Festival…

I know it’s that time of the year when you can find the highest density of intellectuals in Mumbai within the one Km radius adjacent to the Jehangir Art gallery…

I know it’s that time of the year when parents take their kids to watch a ‘fair’ instead of a brain-dead movie like Race which is frankly a disgrace even by Bollywood standards…

I know it’s that time of the year when teenaged college students find a platform to channel their ‘creative angst’ instead of trying to find their ‘true calling’ in fests like Malhaar, Brouhaha and yes, our very own Kaleidoscope…

But, despite being a Kala Ghoda regular over the years, I fail to understand what the big deal is. I am a simple person with very simple taste in art. For me to appreciate it, it should:

a)Be visually attractive (I am no believer of “inner beauty”)
b)Be self-evident in its conceptualization and subject (Just because it’s “abstract”, you can’t describe a sprinkling of random colours as something as “deep” as poverty/corruption/terrorism/gender abuse)
c)Be unique/novel (you can’t harp on the same issues year after year by just ‘colouring’ it differently)

Unfortunately Kala Ghoda has none of these attributes to offer except in some rare cases. But the crowd has only worsened over the years and the eclectic mix of patrons has given way to more mundane people like us with nothing better to do on a Sunday evening.

Other than that, I spent the weekend, catching up on three Bengali movies as well as the highly acclaimed Les Miserables, which I found a tad miserable despite the stellar performances.

Is it me, or are my finer tastes gradually giving way to blatant sensitivities which have no room for subtlety, perceptions and ambiguity?


Childwoman said...

Kala Ghoda is about creativity of different dimensions. People who have lot of offer and people who are hungry to devour art and insane creativity can be found here. You dont have to be necessarily smart or an intellectual to experience that. Its a celebration of artistic sensibilities. And about the mundane crowd, you will find it everywhere. KG is no exception. It has simple art and the most complex rubic art too. I love KG. I wait for it every year. Attending it makes me feel relieved that I am not alone who gets that kind of art. I am just relived that there are people who share my thinking and my taste in color and rhythm. And so relieved the there are people who get this kind of stuff and are serious about it.

It is a big deal to me and to many more. Its where we can be ourselves. Where we unleash our complex thoughts through art. Where we see plays that brings us back to our childhood, our college where we debated for hours about feminism and about language, society and love. People with same sensibilities are stringed back together. To be reunited next year.

Its a big deal to us. We go back home filled with art and little flashes of greatness that we have experienced.

May be you are looking at wrong art and attending wrong programs, They even have stand up comedies and really great plays - if you are interested.

Nefertiti said...


ok, comment longer than post. Didn't mean to demean KG, just that it was a little too esoteric for my tastes. But then again, like you said, I may have missed out on other elements which I should definitely discover next year :)

survivingbrain said...

well, you should start taking in hallucinogens.

I am not a great fan of abstract art, but something in it to take me to a different dimension. and that too without weed or alcohol.

like old country song say -

Now there's some take delight in the carriages a rolling
and others take delight in the hurling and the bowling
but I take delight in the juice of the barley
and courting pretty fair maids in the morning bright and early

so what is your delight?? :P:P

Childwoman said...

Haha!! sorry I just got carried away :)I know you didnt meant to demean it, I just wanted you to like it as much as I like it :))

Next time you come with me, I will take you to some awesome plays.


Nefertiti said...

if i knew my delight, i wouldn't be working in an investment bank!

to next time then...

Dahlia said...

Totally agree with your three points. I am lame in this matter and don't get the meaning of the abstract strokes.. I like art when it actually LOOKS like art to me :)

Nefertiti said...

call us the "art"ificially challenged! and nice to see you here after a long time. keep reading!