"Junglee"….wildlife art, part of "Rang De India" at Magnitude Art Gallery

I saw in the Deccan Herald that Magnitude Gallery in Jayanagar was having a “Wildlife of India” exhibition, so I decided to visit it

magnitude gallery jayanagar 240308

Mr Ramesh Magar, the owner of the gallery, spoke to me and explained that rather than lease out the space to various artists, he was trying a new model at Magnitude.

“We have eight artists who are employed by us,” he says, “And this frees them from the difficulties of earning their living only as and when they sell their art; we pay them a regular salary.” He has initiated “Rang De India”, a series of themes at the gallery. The last one was “Utsav”, which was on various festivals; the present one is “Junglee”, on wildlife; the next one proposed will be “Vanita”, on women. He says he asks the artists to produce painting on these themes, and then displays and sells them.

We strolled around the gallery, and saw the work of some of the artists. One which I liked very much was this piece, “Mayura”, by Neelam:

mayura by Neelam magnitude 240308 46K plus taxes

But it was rather strange that there was a picture of an African elephant in a “Wildlife of India” theme, as also a horse with bit and reins; but I suppose the wildlife interpretation was not very strict. There were, in fact, two paintings of horses, and surely there are no wild horses in India anymore.

Apart from the main paintings hung on the walls, Mr Magar showed me his “sample” art pieces. These are small renderings (such as this one of the Black-Headed Ibis), which are on display; the patron can order the particular piece that he likes, and it will be executed for him/her in the size that is required. This seems to go against the concept of an artwork being unique, but it seems to be working for Magnitude.

black-headed ibis pic "sample" magnitude 240308

Mr Magar says that he looks at the artist’s work before taking him or her on at the gallery. The artists sometimes move on, he says, as they take up other assignments or continue their art studies, but in the two years that he has been doing this, he says two artists, Neelam and Vanil Dhayya, have been with the gallery.

Prices are reasonable or high, depending on one’s point of view…the “Mayura” piece seen above, he says, is Rs.46,000 (plus 12.5% VAT), and the African Elephant piece, which was featured in today’s Deccan Herald, is Rs.37,500 plus VAT.

If the initiative truly helps the struggling young artists make a regular living while freeing them up to express themselves on canvas ( oils, acrylics, multimedia), then this would be a worthwhile and novel effort indeed.

Magnitude Gallery is at

140/13, 27th Cross, 13th Main, 3rd Block, Jayanagar, Bangalore 560011 ( a truly Bangalore address, with cross and block and main!). The contact number is 99001 17201, and the email id is

srmagar@magnitudegallery.in

Worth a visit!

1 Comment so far

  1. janum on March 25th, 2008 @ 4:20 pm

    I have visited this place too. The arts displayed are really wonderful!

    Coming to the other side, the price tags are a proof why their artists are paid even in the absence of their arts getting sold! Even if they sell max 10 such arts per month, they should be able to pay them reasonably well.

    http://havetobehappy.blogspot.com



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