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Art can provide an important connection to our cultural heritage, and Indian art is simply rich in traditions that date back hundreds and thousands of years. One of the most popular traditional art forms is Madhubani painting, which claims roots in Indian mythology and takes its name from its geographic origin in northern Bihar.

Madhubani art — also known as Mithila art— is particularly special, with its unique use of local plants for colors, cow dung to treat the paper and bamboo sticks that serve as brushes, not to mention the beauty and simplicity of the paintings themselves. …


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Jagannath Paul reveals one of his recent canvases.

Leading Indian artist Jagannath Paul is famous for his mixed media works that explore themes of togetherness and intimacy — through semi-abstract images of men and women’s faces, he explores how each person can contain a multitude of personalities. Although I have personally known Jagannath since 2012 and have worked with him through Laasya Art for many years, I had not heard his artistic journey until I sat down with him earlier this year. It is a truly inspiring story of self-belief, perseverance and ambition.

In his own words, Jagannath Paul recounts his story:


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Many art enthusiasts assume that starting a collection of their own is simply a dream. After all, the art on display in museums is known to be extremely valuable, and there are frequent headlines about paintings selling at auction for astronomical prices. But the fact is that it’s possible to find quality art from credentialed artists at a reasonable price.

I, for one, am passionate about challenging the notion that owning fine art is an unattainable luxury. I believe art makes a great contribution to humanity and to our mental, physical and spiritual health, thereby contributing to an overall sense of well being. …


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Although the art of serigraphy has been around for 100 years (and other methods of printmaking far longer than that), fine art prints have become one of the most rapidly growing sectors of the art market in the past decade. Within the scope of Indian art specifically, there is tremendous interest among clients to own a signed print by the Modernist Masters like M.F. Husain and S.H. Raza, whose original paintings are otherwise unaffordable for many.

Yet while the demand for serigraphs has grown, collectors invariably have a lot of questions about the process, their value and how they differ from an original artwork. …


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Contemporary Indian artist Bharti Prajapati firmly believes in the importance of inviting creativity into our daily lives. Art has helped her to navigate the unexpected twists and turns of life, and she finds that this can be a powerful medium for everyone, not just professional artists.


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Sacred Waters, Acrylic, gold and copper on Belgian Linen, 30 x 57 inches

Art has the power to soothe, heal and inspire — all qualities that feel vitally important in these strange and challenging times. Today, contemporary Indian artist Vinita Karim reflects on the ability of art to help center oneself and express gratitude.


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The healing power of art feels more relevant and necessary than ever during these strange and challenging times. As part of Laasya Art’s response to COVID-19 and resulting ‘stay-at-home’ orders around the world, this series of posts turns to various visual and performing artists for their insights on how art contributes to their well-being.

Today, leading contemporary Indian artist Seema Kohli will share her personal experience with art as a vital aspect of well-being. An internationally recognized artist, Seema has shown widely in India, the United States and Europe, including her recent solo exhibition at the Museum of Sacred Art in Brussels. She is particularly known for her sensual, vibrantly colored paintings and sculptures that explore themes of femininity, beauty and spirituality. …


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Contemporary Indian artist Basuki Das Gupta is multi-talented — he not only paints but also composes music, plays multiple instruments, sings and writes.

As we live under “lockdown” here in Palo Alto and many other places around the world, I have begun to feel an acceptance of this new reality and even an appreciation of what it offers: the opportunity to slow down and focus on the things that truly matter. In this new series of posts, I have turned to various visual and performing artists with unique perspectives on how art contributes to their wellbeing.


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Indian artist Anuradha Thakur works on a new painting during India’s national lockdown.

Here in Palo Alto, California, we have been on “lockdown” for almost a month. It has been an emotional rollercoaster, with the first few weeks characterized by a sense of loss, confusion, worry and uncertainty. But gradually, I have begun to feel an acceptance of this new reality and even an appreciation of what it offers: the opportunity to slow down and focus on the things that truly matter.

For me personally, I have always found a sense of centeredness and wellbeing in yoga, meditation and pranayama (control of breath). Painting also eases me into a ‘flow’ or meditative state, and I have been doing more of it lately. It has reminded me how art can be a form of therapy, a way to re-connect with oneself. So, over the next few weeks, I will be publishing a series of posts by various visual and performing artists on how they are responding to the situation today and how art contributes to their wellbeing. …


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Sudip Roy, Untitled, Oil on canvas, 108 x 72 inches (3 panels)

I was first introduced to contemporary Indian artist Sudip Roy’s original works in 2008, during a visit to leading artist Laxman Aelay’s studio. On Laxman’s desk, I saw a calendar that featured 12 gorgeous oil paintings, one for each month. The paintings were semi-nude scenes inspired by Satyajit Ray’s 1964 movie ‘Charulata,’ but these nudes were of a different kind: sensual, understated, subtle and mesmerizing. I knew right then that I had to meet this artist and learn more about his journey. That artist was Sudip Roy, of course, and that’s when our long personal association and professional collaboration began.

About

Sonia Patwardhan

Curator, founder & entrepreneur of Laasya Art Gallery in Palo Alto, California. Passionate about raising awareness of contemporary and traditional Indian art.

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