While strains of jazz music plays in the background at Malaka Spice, the artist's brush-strokes create a different music on the canvas. It is difficult to say whether it is the artist who is inspired by his surroundings or it is the ambience that is getting enhanced by the artwork. In the recent past, the art exhibitions have evolved from static paintings and sculptures in art galleries to live demonstrations of the artists' skills at malls, restaurants and other public places.
Kiran Bableshwar, a Pune-based artist, who painted live at the Amanora Town Centre on Saturday and Sunday, thrilled the onlookers with his rare art techniques. Along with displaying his 13 paintings, the artist, who uses palette knives to paint instead of brushes, made a painting in front of the audience. “The idea was to showcase my technique of painting with people,” says. The people present were so impressed with his skills that a number of them approached him after the demonstration for lessons.
Last week also saw five-year-old Shorya Mahanot giving a live demo of his skills to around 50 people.
Besides Amanora and Malaka Spice, the live painting events have been initiated by Art India Foundation and Bliss Art Gallery. Looking at the response to Bableshwar's live demonstration, Amanora has plans to host more such events in the future. President for Marketing and Leasing, Amanora, Tushar Mehta says, "We believe that enthusiasm for live painting will only increase in the future. We hope to organise a live art festival by next March."
Art and merchandise manager at Malaka Spice, Preeti Singh says that the live art concept at Malaka Spice provides a common platform for artists and art lovers to interact with each other and develop a greater understanding and love towards art.
Having painted live at Malaka Spice in the past, artist Sujata Dharap who paints abstract, says that she gets influenced by every note of music and each person in the audience. So, in a way, she says, that the people sitting at the restaurant are not only the audience but also are the subject of her painting.
Artist Ajay De, who has made several live paintings in the city, says that the concept of live-painting allows both the artist and the audience to dive into the story behind the art. “I made one of my favourite paintings live at the Shaniwarwada. I made a charcoal etching of the monument and at that time, I was immersed in its history and I think the audience had a similar feeling,” says De, who feels that all artists should attempt painting live, as it adds a different texture and flavour in their art.
Artists are famous for guarding their privacy and work. With art being an expression of the artist's perception of the world, does change in surroundings affect the expression as well? “It is definitely different from painting in the studio and the experience has a completely different energy to it. Everything in the painting is spontaneous and I enjoy the way people participate in the whole process,” says Dharap, who compares the whole process with a performing art.
Bableshwar points out another motive to paint at such events. He says that live painting makes art more accessible to the public. “Art is perceived as a pursuit of the elite and something which cannot be understood by a common man. However, when you watch a painting being made in front of your eyes, transforming from one brush-stroke to a picture, you begin to appreciate it much more,” he adds.