Show some love for desi art

Updated: Apr 28, 2020, 11:10 IST | Sukanya Datta | Mumbai

A bunch of culture buffs want you to draw inspiration from your home and dress up to recreate South Asian artworks

Artworks and their interpretations displayed on the page
Artworks and their interpretations displayed on the page

From masterclasses by artists to virtual tours by museums, the world of art has been quick to come to the rescue of the locked-down mind. And in doing so, it has found hundreds of new enthusiasts, who are discovering, learning and making art for the first time in their lives. Take for instance, the Los Angeles-based Getty Museum's recreate-an-artwork-at-home challenge that has got people pulling off David Hockney's Portrait of an Artist with inflatable pools in their backyard and Nicholas Hilliard's The Ermine Portrait using sourdough bread. "While we appreciate the great work being done by museums across the world, we felt that very little Indian art was getting traction, although we have thousands of years of works. That's why we decided to start a desi version of it," says Supriya Menon, an interpretive writer and co-founder of the social media page The Museumwallas, about the #HomemadeIndianArt challenge that has found many takers within a week.

Artworks and their interpretations displayed on the page

The rules are simple; pick a South Asian artwork from a museum website or other open access sources and recreate it using things lying at home. "The idea is to show desi art some love. Send your entries to us and we'll post it. We can help you find artwork, too," says co-founder and experience designer Akanksha. The results have been hilarious; one follower included their pet dog and baby to replicate a Raja Ravi Varma painting, while another used everything from cardboard to cloth to recreate a Jamini Roy work. "We've got around 30 entries already and more are on the way," she adds.

The Museumwallas founders Supriya Menon, Akanksha, Rohini Ramkrishnan and Yashmi Prasad George
The Museumwallas founders Supriya Menon, Akanksha, Rohini Ramkrishnan and Yashmi Prasad George

The challenge has also allowed the primarily city-based group — founded by former colleagues Menon, Akanksha, Rohini Ramkrishnan and Yashmi Prasad George in 2016 — to engage with all kinds of people and understand their interests. "We've been able to reach out to non-art-and-culture people with this project, which felt great. People are dressing up and using everything from home tools to soft toys to create Kalighat paintings and works by Varma, Abanindranath Tagore, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil, among others. Even my grandma wants to do one now," shares Menon, adding, "The best part is that followers are interpreting each art work in their own, often-hilarious ways."

Log on to @themuseumwallas on Instagram

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