Matters of the he(art)
For somebody who was a doctor by profession and ventured into art almost accidentally, Tarana Khubchandani has come a long way.
The gallerist has collaborated with Maneka Gandhi to bring a unique exhibition of 2000 antique lithographs of birds and flowers at her gallery for Maneka’s animal welfare association. “Hopefully, the issue currently under the scanner — that of the pathetic treatment of the horses plying carriages in the city will be addressed in a realistic manner,” says Tarana. She spoke to CS about the show:
Art for a cause
I met Maneka Gandhi when we collaborated for an event last year, which featured carpets designed by artists and designers. I found her extremely easy to work with, and her characteristic no-nonsense style left an impact on me. After a successful showing, I felt committed to her cause, being inspired largely by Maneka’s own sense of deep commitment, dedication and total conviction. A dear friend said to me, “It is sad that a society is judged by the way it treats its animals, and I believe that we have a long way to go before we can be judged kindly in this regard.” So true!
Having started collecting art at a young age, my husband and I have always bought works that we related to and our personal collection includes M.F.Husain, Raza, Souza, Manjit Bawa, Ambadas etc. However, it was never the medium or the size that took our fancy — rather an unusual work or even a fascinating drawing or etching. Our home is a medley of works of different periods and genres and my husband will have it no other way! If I try to move things around, his retort is, “this is our home, not your gallery!” I don’t argue. (smiles)
Making a change
My personal desire, cliched as it sounds, I would want to make a small and positive difference to society in any way. When we got an opportunity to install artworks at Mumbai Airport, the overwhelming thought was merely this, to create an awareness for art in a public space, as well as instill a sense of pride and homecoming to the transient passenger. The responses that our artists have received for their works at the airport is indeed gratifying.
This city has always been a hub of art and culture. However, so far as the fine arts are concerned, we have been seeing a change in trends since 2008.
I feel the hub has moved to Delhi with larger gallery spaces mushrooming and growing. The lacklustre art openings bear testimony to the collectors’ sense of jadedness.