Art for amateurs
Marc Chagall, Over the Town, 1918
The director of the Louvre, where collections span from 6th century BC to the 19th century AD, once estimated that 80 per cent of the museum’s visitors come there to see just one thing - the Mona Lisa. However, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece is considered overrated and unremarkable by some. Why, then, has it captured the imagination of artists over time, with everyone from Salvador Dalí to Andy Warhol adapting it in their own works?
Edgar Degas, The Dance Class, 1874
To understand what makes a painting iconic, sign up for Art of Looking, a Western art appreciation workshop for those aged 16 and above, organised by Flying Tricycle, which aims to conduct out-of-the-box art and design workshops. Co-founder Madhumita Srivastava will conduct the workshop, comprising seven two-hour sessions.
“It’s important to understand the context behind a painting - the time during which it was made, and how it may have come about as a reaction to something else,” shares Srivastava, who holds a Masters in Architecture from the University of Michigan, and a Masters in Fine Art (Design and Technology) from Parsons School of Design, New York.
Participants will be taken through works by Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Renoir, Picasso, Frida Kahlo, and Andy Warhol, among others. The aim is to take a look at a variety of styles, media, genres and techniques, from the Renaissance era right up to the 1980s.
The workshop will involve freewheeling discussions where she will help participants interpret their feelings about a piece of art, and form an opinion about it. “This is not a history lesson. In each session, I’ll bombard you with a slideshow of around 80 artworks. We’ll stop at a few iconic pieces to talk about why we like or don’t like them, and why they’re important. When you see all the pieces in one go, you’ll start noticing a pattern to them,” she believes.
The sessions will conclude with a visit to an art gallery. Here, Srivastava hopes to strike up a hot debate. “Every person notices different elements in a painting. In fact, the more abstract a piece is, the more interpretations you’ll get.”
She adds that she wants to rid people of the intimidation that often accompanies art. “We feel like we need to have a degree to understand art. But art is subjective - it’s about how it makes you feel.”
From: March 20 to April 13 (Mondays and Thursdays) TIME 10 am to 12 pm
At: Kids Club, 11th Road, Khar (W)
Cost: Rs 6000