Debut Showcase


Emerging artists have made bold statements at the United Art Fair.

Even till two in the afternoon on Thursday, Hall no. 12 and 12A at Pragati Maidan had too much going on. The streets as the winding passages in the halls are being called had assumed names such as Nandlal Bose Street, Amrita Sher-Gil Street, FN Souza Street, and so on. A few installations towered comfortably near the entrance, while some others startled an unwitting observer at abrupt turnings. One could see an artist or two fixing their works with feverish dedication and urgency. In about three hours, the Capital was to witness the inauguration of the debut edition of United Art Fair, which is being pitched as an artist-driven art forum.

With 2,500 works by over 500 artists, most of them up-and-coming, there are quite a few bold statements in the form of canvas, photography, installations and mixed media, among others. Some works border on the voyeuristic, while others prove their point through bold imageries and texts. For one, as one enters through Baswan Street, there's a giant metallic bench with a life-sized Barbie figure stretched on it and a flower shooting right from its middle. Delhi-based artist Sanjeev Sinha, its creator, calls it Where love exist. On the other end, there are works by Varnita Mahajan, comprising sensual photographs and an installation that comprises mixed media made on lingerie, titled The Skin.

In another part of the hall, graphic illustrations by Chennai-based Gaman Palem bring together Indian and western popular graphic stories of the Ramayana and Superman, merging them together and calling them Hum Kale Hai Toh Kya Hua?.

Hard-hitting truths have taken the form of sculptures such as Death, created by Kolkata-based Gargee Ghosh, depicting pairs of blood-stained feet bound by a rope, and installations such as Patna-based Vishan Kumar's oil on canvas called 100 Rs. per kg, which comments on inflation and corruption.


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