Dr. Krishna Mahawer Talks About The Art Market And Artistic Curiosity
- IWB Post
- October 27, 2015
As I stood under a humongous dome full of beautifully painted figurines, right in the middle of Jawahar Kala Kendra, I eagerly scanned my surrounding to locate the room where a solo art exhibition was being held. This was not just any exhibition, the woman-artist has been the talk of the town.
The minute I stepped into the room, an array of bright colors of different wavelengths hit me in the head, and numerous faces painted on huge canvases stared down at me, from behind the copper frames. I was immediately drawn towards the eclectic mix of bold oil colors and the impressive brush work. As a person who can barely draw a potato properly, her work left me mesmerized!
The artist, Dr. Krishna Mahawer has been painting for almost 20 years and has a special inclination towards modern contemporary art.
Krishna: Since I was a child, I had seen my grandfather and my uncle paint beautiful renditions. They inspired me to try my hand at painting, and take up fine arts as a subject in the 11th grade. After that, I got my bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and even my Ph.D in Fine Arts. I was unstoppable. My work has been exhibited in India and abroad as well. This dedication earned me the “State Academy Award” for my contribution into Arts too!
JWB: As an artist, what has been a turning point in your life?
Krishna: Oh, there have been many. A random inspiration has the power to give birth to an entire collection. But, the “Gurukal Anubhav Scholarship” given to me by the SPIC MACAY organization turned my life around. The students had the liberty to choose any ‘guru’ they want, with whom they would stay and learn the intricacies of the chosen art form. I originally chose Mr. M.F. Hussein, but unfortunately, he was traveling at that time, so next I chose Mrs. Anjolie Ela Menon, a Padma Shree awardee. I, subsequently, moved to Delhi, where the amount of exposure I got was unbelievable! The cultural art exhibitions and festivals were spectacular, which have contributed significantly to my personal as well as artistic growth.
JWB: Personal experiences do have a lot of power! Has any personal life experience affected your art?
Krishna: I recently became a mother. My baby is the angel of my life, which made me come up with a separate art collection, called “Divine Innocence”. This collection features a baby with angel-like wings, since a child brings along lots of happiness and prosperity. I have used single hued, bold colors, and tried to create a divine atmosphere.
My “fish” collection, has been inspired by a woman’s struggle in the society. A fish swims against the current, the flow, and continues its journey ahead. Similarly, a woman has to face a lot of struggle to get what she wants. She has commendable willpower and internal strength to face struggle and still strives to move forward. The fish, for me, is a symbol of ambition. This collection is specifically monochromatic.
JWB: Do you identify yourself with a fish?
Krishna: Yes, of course. I have always been a highly ambitious woman, and I have faced my fair share of struggle, as a female artist. I have a rural background, where it was a challenge in itself to go to a school and study. My ambition made me lash back against the society and strive to achieve what I had envisioned for myself. Today, I am a painter, a writer and a lecturer.
JWB: Did life after marriage affect your artistic curiosity?
Krishna: My husband is in the field of arts as well. He is a professional theater director, and so there exists an artistic environment at home. I feel like I’m getting closer to my art every single day. An artist’s curiosity never dies, since art can never give you a sense of completion. I always feel there’s something I am yet to do.
I have tried my hand at digital installations too. It is a post-modern art form, which I was keen to adopt. Hence, I feel my curiosity and hunger for creating something new will never be sated.
JWB: Tell us something about the art market.
Krishna: The market for art is huge. Even corporate institutes are increasingly getting involved in it. However, they need commitment and consistency from an artist. A young, un-married woman artist will face difficulty in getting accepted. She is not settled, and so, her art work might show extreme behavior, or she may not even be able to continue once she’s married. An art gallery buys an artist’s work when they feel that over time her new art work would be able increase the market price of her old work, making the gallery earn considerable amount of profit. Therefore, it is imperative for an artist to continue her work.
In Jaipur, people would rather invest in an uber-expensive center table or even curtains, but not an art piece. There is a lack of art education, for which I feel the Government needs to start art-appreciation courses.
JWB: Any advice to aspiring artists?
Krishna: Be patient. Patience will take you a long way, when it comes to art. There is a lack of appreciation and support in this field, but do not let this dim your motivation.