The opening of art gallery Art Buy Appointment is terrific news for the lesser-known artist in search of his/her place under the sun. Their inaugural show, Nibiru Shall Also Pass, focuses on 2012 doomsday predictions and has been garnering a great response

In a city that is starved for gallery space, artists often end up with a raw deal. Apart from having to pay a bomb and waiting for slots at existing galleries, exhibitions often end up as Page 3 events.

An artwork by Prakash Bal Joshi

To rectify this, former journalist turned PR professional Anusha Srinivasan roped in her cousin Nandini Viswanathan and Chartered Accountant friend Aashish Vyas to start Art Buy Appointment (ABA), a venture to help emerging talents showcase and sell their art.
The trio inaugurated their first gallery space at Juhu on January 18. Plans are afloat for three more spaces. At present, the gallery accommodates 20 large-sized and 30 small-sized paintings.

"As a PR professional, I am familiar with managing artists. There are numerous talented artists who can't afford to market themselves.

An artwork by Amisha Mehta

ABA helps such artists get noticed at nominal costs or even for free," said Anusha Srinivasan. She adds that they are open to people lending them spare walls at clubs, gymkhanas and offices where artworks can be displayed and the artists will be able to build their portfolio.

The business of art
As part of the business plan, the gallery space will be open for visitors during the first three days of the exhibition and consequently visitors can visit after taking a prior appointment.

They also plan to pepper their exhibitions featuring newbie artists with works by masters like MF Hussain to ensure the exhibitions generate footfalls and profits.

(From left) Anusha Srinivasan  Iyer, Nandini Viswanathan and
 Aashish Vyas, the founders of Art Buy Appointment

The entire process of planning the gallery and getting the online gallery ready took them approximately six months.

"The online gallery will help us connect with international galleries and collectors. So, our artists can showcase their works on walls and also have a 24-hour online gallery to reach out to the masses," said Nandini Viswanathan.

For Aashish Vyas, his grandfather, mother and wife's keen interest in art worked as a catalyst in his decision to open the gallery. "I have worked as a Chartered Accountant and investment banker for several years but my passion lies in photography.

This gallery seemed like the perfect spot to showcase art, photography and installation work by lesser-known artists. Plus, there are hardly any art galleries in the suburbs despite the fact that there is a large market in the suburbs and footfalls are guaranteed," explained Vyas.

Doomsday prophecy
The first exhibition to be showcased at the gallery is Nibiru Shall Also Pass and features artworks by Prakash Bal Joshi and Amisha Mehta. The title is a reference to Nibiru, a celestial object known as Planet X, which is rumoured to be colliding with earth in 2012 creating an apocalyptic situation.

Colour therapist Amisha Mehta explains that the message behind her colourful acrylic-on-canvas artworks is that of hope in times of despair. "My paintings utilise colour to generate positive thoughts and reinforce the belief that the best and worst of times will eventually pass and things will get better," says Mehta.

Journalist turned artist Prakash Bal Joshi spent over a decade juggling passion and profession. "I would rise early everyday to spend at least four hours painting at the studio after which I would head to work.

My job has taken me to several scenic spots and I try to portray them in my artworks," says Joshi about his creations.

"Initially, I had a traumatic experience with rivers; I had almost drowned as an eight-year-old. I overcame the fear and developed a spiritual connect with it," he concludes.

Till January 30
At 401 B, Foreshore, Juhu.
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