Bangalore, India, August 30, 2013 -- South India's premier contemporary art festival, in its 4th edition, wowed the entire art fraternity and public at large. The seven-day event was extended past its scheduled date, to satisfy requests from art enthusiasts of the city, recording the most ever footfalls at UB City, Bangalore's popular hub.
Taking centre stage at the Opening Ceremony was Padmashri award winner Thota Tharrani's exclusive piece created for the event. The presiding Chief Guest, Co-Founder of Mindtree, Subroto Bagchi, along with Prestige Group CMD, Irfan Razack and Tharrani himself, unveiled the creation amidst much fanfare. Also unveiled during the night, was co-organizer Sublime Galleria's collection 'The Reflective' that inspired the theme of this year's event.
The Collection at UB City, the venue for Art Bengaluru for the past four years, greeted visitors with a novel 3D installation at the entrance – a tube of paint cascading its color down the grand central staircase. Amongst other installations visible across the Mall were artist's props such as life-size crayons, a palette, bucket of color pencils, etc. Another attraction was the Sculpture Park set up in the amphitheatre, allowing spectators to gather around and soak in the beauty of the sculptures.
In keeping with tradition, art-houses from across the country were seen here, such as Progressive Art Gallery, Art Salon, Rangkunchala Arts, Deccan Art Gallery & Artèquest. The artworks on display were another highlight, with greats such as M.F. Husain’s work attracting more than just the art lovers of the city.
Berserk, the latest addition to Art Bengaluru is an art conference aimed at nurturing the self confidence and latent creativity of children, allowing them to express themselves without any barriers or expectations. It was created to bring about awareness and appreciation, for fine art in India, which the organizers felt was much needed. Berserk worked on developing children’s inherent interest in art, by coaching them in the basics of art, be it in theatre, dance, music or visual art itself.
The families of the participating students were invited to witness the Grand Finale on the closing night. The show opened with renowned salsa dancer Sneha Kapoor of Jhalak Dikhla Jaa fame delivering an entertaining and energetic performance. Following that was a thoroughly enjoyable performance by the pro-team of the Lourd Vijay Dance Studio (LVDS). A whimsical yet smart monologue delivered by Rebecca Spurgeon, along with a Kalari performance by Master Nikhil Varagiri, were the main attractions of the show. The audience was pleasantly greeted with a performance by Taaqademy. The performers included Varun (Lead and Rhythm Guitarist of Swaratma), Vibhas (Drummer, Eccentric Pendulum), Archana (Faculty at Taaqademy and Shankar Mahadevan Institute of Music), Pradeep (Music Graduate from Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music) and Snehal (Ex-Band Member of Galeej Gurus, 'Parachute XVI' and Bass Player of 'Voodoo Gas'). The show concluded with an awe-inspiring live painting session by artist Mahesh Pattar, who painted a portrait of Mahatma Gandhi on stage in just seven minutes, to amaze and completely entertain the crowds.
Also, of noteworthy mention is the success of the Luxury Art Auction held at ITC Windsor, which over the years has grown to become one of the most-awaited art events of the country. Record sales of the artworks are testimony to the popularity of the auction. The beginning of this highly eventful evening was initiated by Ms. Uzma Irfan - Co-founder of Art Bengaluru and Ramesh and Swati Ramanathan from Janaagraha. This was followed by the auction conducted by acclaimed London-based auctioneer, Bob Hayton, who did an exceptional job, receiving joyful cheers from the audience. Among the final lots of the 135 on auction this year, was Thota Tharrani's installation, created exclusively for this event.
Once again, Art Bengaluru has enjoyed a stunning year with record numbers by any standards, proving that it doesn't necessarily take a connoisseur's eye to appreciate and be moved by good art. With its success towards making art more accessible to everyone, Art Bengaluru ’14 is already a much awaited event!