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An encounter with an unknown artist

Sunday, 19 April 2009 06:12 Thought Factory
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“Taj Mohotsav” is a cultural haat held every year in Agra with an intention to promote rural and traditional art of India .But to the contrary we find it promoting singers and comedians who are paid sky-scraping prices for stage shows to attract public. Such is the destiny of India which is known worldwide for its heritage, but fails even to get noticed in the eyes of our own Indians.

       This time too as an art enthusiast I went to Taj- Mohatsav with a hope in heart to get a glimpse of Indian art. In the quest I met a Mithila artist who had come from rural areas of Bihar to sell his pieces of Art. Rs 20, Rs 30, Rs 40…. Such were the rates quoted to sell this priceless art. They said people prefer to buy modern and abstract art at exorbitant prices but bargain with them at cheap price also. I felt this art of unknown artists is slowly loosing its identity. Mithila painters informed that they use elements of daily life to bring life to their art. Like they use “Kaajal” for black colour and “Mahavar”in place of red colour. On the question about their earnings, they cried their heart out. They said their earnings were not even enough to meet the fare charges. The truth is the artists who decorate the home of others fail to earn enough even to make their own homes.

   I pondered upon the reasons and could find several. Today when we search on google for information about Indian art forms we find inadequate results but if we search for foreign arts like “scrapbooking” we find unlimited results .The irony is that foreigners value the art of India but our own new tech-savvy generation has lost their interest. They find digital prints and photo graphs trendier. At the same time Madhubani artists are unable to adapt themselves to modern changes and technology. We find no variation in designs or their method of selling. Marketing is an unheard term for them. They are unable to experiment primarily due to illiteracy. The new generation of artists is now switching over to other sources of income.

                  Reflecting about all this I suddenly realized the time and quickly bought few pieces of this dying art thinking that after some time these may be a proof of the extinct art that was called     “ Mithila Art” 


Article submitted by 'Thought Factory'

Last Updated on Sunday, 19 April 2009 06:17

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