Coming home to art
A gallery and a designer gift studio come together for a unique exhibition on European home decor pieces that display real-life mannerisms as well as abstraction
A gift is more than an object you willingly give someone without taking payment. For Raoul Singh, the founder of city-based designer gift studio Mould, it is something to be cherished by your bedside and not locked away in a cabinet. But more importantly, it's supposed to be a true reflection of the person you're gifting the present to. And with the thriving gifting industry today, with young Indians looking to introduce art into their homes, Singh along with Tao Art Gallery's Sanjana Shah has put together and curated an interesting exhibition. Opening on Friday, the Tao x Mould showcase will feature 35 caricature and contemporary sculptures — placed in separate designated areas — made by European artists.
"We actively began working on the display in September. My focus as a curator was on the art element. We all know home decor is supposed to be about aesthetics, but I was looking for pieces that were truly eye-opening and those which go beyond their functional value," Shah informs. So, the collection includes pieces like a caricature of a photographer or retiree, clocks embedded onto hand casts and ambiguous pieces like cherries. For Shah, although caricatures stood out foundationally as an art expression, the second category required her to carefully examine the artistic edge it provided, simply because the contemporary can come across as too basic.
At the same time, it was also important for the gallerist to put behind the notion of elitist fine art with this exhibition. "I want art to be present in all elements of one's life. Although these pieces aren't specifically targeted towards young people, the show is something youngsters would like," Shah says, adding that the works are priced between Rs 20,000 to Rs 2 lakh. Talking about the hand-painted figurines, Singh shares that they are made with the intention of resonating with someone's personality, even though it may not be a literal depiction. "When you look at the caricature called The Retiree made by Guillermo Forchino, for instance, you can literally feel the joy of the person who has retired. The details are unreal — you can see the text on the cover of the book he's holding," he adds.
More than the technique, Singh says, it is the finishing that matters, the materials being sandstone and resin, and ornamental stone. Each piece is a limited-edition one. He concludes, "Our customers are happy that they have access to European art. So, when people walk in and don't know what they're looking for, they can just describe the person they're looking to send a gift to or the utility of it and find something."
ON November 8 to 22, 11 am to 7 pm
AT Sarjan Plaza, ground floor, Atrium Gallery, 100 Dr Annie Besant Road, Worli.
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