Art is not the possession of the few who are recognized writers, painters, musicians; it is the authentic expression of any and all individuality. Those who have the gift of creative expression in unusually large measure disclose the meaning of the individuality of others to those others. In participating in the work of art, they become artists in their activity. They learn to know and honor individuality in whatever form it appears. The fountains of creative activity are discovered and released. The free individuality which is the source of art is also the final source of creative development in time.
The accessibility of art in this modern capitalist world has become a matter of concern. With utter commercialization, the aesthetic and purpose of art seem to be dissolving. To break into the market, an artist first needs to find a gallery to represent them, which is harder than it sounds. More than that bidding is the norm, which devoids the idea of purchasing from the minds of the middle class or the lower income groups. Either art loses itself in a cult of empty exclusivity or it turns to its audience.
Art is transcendental, an universal language, a therapeutic tool, a mode of self expression, timeless and testament to different timelines, an embodiment of culture and tradition, a political weapon, a sense of movement and dynamism. In the words of Tolstoy, “The activity of art is based on the capacity of people to infect others with their own emotions and to be infected by the emotions of others. Strong emotions, weak emotions, important emotions or irrelevant emotions, good emotions or bad emotions – if they contaminate the reader, the spectator or the listener – it attains the function of art.”
It should not be a luxury, but for all to enjoy.
And for this, every year on the first Sunday, the campus of Chitrakala Parishath along with Kumara Kripa Road is brimming with kaleidoscopic colours and bustling with thousands of artists and 4-5 lakhs of spectators. It’s the eve of Chitra Santhe, India’s largest day long annual street art fair.An overwhelming sensory and visual experience. For the streets are filled with arts, canvases full of ideas, stories from around the world. A place of interaction between the artist and the admirer away from the bourgeoisie boundaries of galleries and museums and exhibition bids out on the streets where the lines of class, caste and economy condense. The caricatures, the face paints, the larger than life paintings, sculptures, portrait, the reflective society in the sketches, graphics, murals, traditional art. All forms out there on full display for the admirers and collectors at affordable prices, which doesn’t burn a hole in your pockets or snatch away the idea of owning one. The Idea is “Art for all”.
It’s the brain child of the Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, a renowned art school, the affair has entertained art dwellers, learners, seekers for thirteen years now. A tourist attraction also a medium to fill the cavity of the dearth art education and art appreciation. The cultural fiesta is enchanting and a breath of fresh air.
Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath is situated in the midst of the city of Bangalore. It was established in 1960 by the founder President Late M Arya Murthy and founder Secretary Late Prof. MS Nanjunda Rao. A leading centre for visual arts and a landmark of visual culture compromising of multiple museums, galleries and archives under it. It has become a tourist spot, a centre for visual discourse, a hub for art lovers and a place of artistic discussion for the artists around the world. Artists no longer have to subscribe to set rules and create art from a more subjective vantage point.
While inaugurating the 19th edition of the Chitra Santhe, Basavaraj Bommai, the Chief Minister of Karnataka even proposed the idea of extending it all over the state and establishing six regional spots. “There is a demand to make Chitrakala Parishath an autonomous institution, into a deemed University. Action would be initiated to declare it a deemed University in the next session of the state legislature. A new dimension would be given to the Chitrakala Parishath under the leadership of BL Shankar by bringing various institutions under its affiliation,” he stated.
With platforms like this Karnataka government is protecting and promoting Indian Folk art as well as preserving them all together. A forum for free dialogue, debate, discussion and artistic exchange. The more avenue and support the artists get, the more accessible it will be to the public and certainly will reflect in society.
Thus, come and experience this concoction of colourful, visceral, soulful experience by yourself next year. Take some pieces home as souvenirs or as objects of adoration or inspiration. And thrive in what art has to offer. Because what is life without Art.