Art before the artist

Published: 18 October, 2012 11:30 IST | Soma Das |

With an aim to bring art back into focus, a new exhibition of 50 works by known and unknown artists, titled Anonymous � The Art Show, will be held in the city. It aims to highlight the art rather than the artist, and allows viewers to buy affordable art

In a world where the opening of an art exhibition fetches more attention than the art itself, a group of people are trying to re-define the rules of the trade. Anonymous — The Art Show is an event featuring 15 artists and five sculptors from across India. The event was conceptualised by Team Anonymous, which is made up of artists including Daxa Khandwala, Jessie Shirmali, Monica Jalota, Rekha Shivdasani and Shaila Dighe.

Empowering Love

As part of this exhibition, every artist will display two works anonymously and buyers can decide the value of each work. The exhibits will be displayed without the artists’ signatures and buyers can bid by ballot. The highest bidder will get to buy the work and once the sale is made the identity of the artist will be revealed.

Artist, who?
Daxa Khandwala shares the show’s USP, “The show is the first of its kind in India. It allows artists to display art without worrying about labels, price tags or celebrity inaugurations. At most show openings, the focus moves away from the art. This show is for people who love art for what it is, not for the artist’s name or price tag. Each artwork should speak for itself.”

Co-organiser Monica Jalota states that the show will feature a mix of known names and newbies. “This show exhibits art in its truest form — untitled, unsigned and untagged. After the show is flagged off in Mumbai, it will move to Dubai in March 2013,” she says.

Khandwala reveals that the artists had no qualms about their names not being revealed. The secret ballot also allowed connoisseurs to determine the value of the work, on their own. “It’s not an open auction because that may appreciate the value, unrealistically.

The buyer will put down a price that they believe is worth for purchasing an artwork. Thus, the art does a valuation for itself. A sign is the identity of the creator, ideally it shouldn’t be the reason to lose or gain value. You are buying art, not the artist,” concludes Khandwala.

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