This week, Ahmedabad saw a slew of art exhibitions, all at Ravishankar Raval Kala Bhavan. Here’s a look into these sensitive works, which take views on topics like disability and the urban life.
On Friday evening, while the whole city waited in anticipation for the grey clouds to deliver their imminent showers, these artists at Ravishankar Raval Kala Bhavan were busy celebrating the abundance of art around them. Four exhibitions have been on display this week, bringing a veritable range of art spread across two galleries.
On the building’s first floor, the gallery holds two exhibitions – artist Tarun Kothari’s show Different Strokes and artist Bipin Dave’s show Unending Journey. Both the artists hail from Bhavnagar district and have presented their well-crafted figurative forms on paper. Kothari, who hasn’t formally studied Fine Arts, has been working as a commercial artist since the past four decades. Dave, on the other hand, has studied at CN School of Fine Arts under the tutelage of painters like Natu Parikh and owns a private gallery in his hometown.
Kothari explained his work, “My art is dedicated to people’s preferences. I like making what people like to see and take to their homes, including portraits of Ganesha, Buddha and Krishna.” His 30 paintings are made using a mix of pastel colours and other mediums, usually employed with the fingers, which lend them a smooth texture.
Dave, meanwhile, is also exhibiting 30 works from his vast collection. “All my artworks are inspirations from the people around me,” he explained. “I am so thankful to my wife for always supporting me through thick and thin, and for believing in me and my aesthetics.” His sepia-toned figurative watercolour paintings described the chores of tribal life and candid expressions of people. The exhibitions will remain open for all until Sunday, August 12, at Ravishankar Raval Kala Bhavan.
Proceeding to the second-floor gallery, one sees artist Raju Patel and Raju Baraiya sharing a gallery for their shows. Although they were on the verge of winding up when I entered, I felt lucky to witness their highly developed sense of aesthetics. Both artists seem to have developed their artistic skills while studying at MS University.
Patel, who has a disability in his foot, has painted exhaustively on the subject of disability. In his show Rhythms of the Stolen Songs, he juxtaposes feet and boots into his artworks. Not only does he craft brilliant concepts into his art, but he is also proficient at expressing his innermost emotions through watercolours. Since Patel hails from a tribal area near Navsari, Gujarat, tribal figurative motifs feature prominently in his paintings.
Raju Baraiya, who also belongs to a tribal vicinity near Amreli, depicts his nostalgia for his hometown, using watercolours to contrast the hustle and bustle of urban life with the calm and slow-paced life in his village. In his show In Between the Conflict, hoards of cattle form surreal backdrops to his paintings. Perhaps they signify the mundane lifestyle of our cities, in which commuters are mindlessly herded along!
Visit the remaining two shows until Sunday, August 12, and experience the magic of the art on display for yourself.
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