15 for the 15th - Curated Guide to Indian Art for Indian Homes
This Independence day week, our friends at Art & Found showcase15 of India’s most talented emerging artists doing Indian art in not-so-traditional styles.
As we celebrate 70 years of Indian independence, of all the revolutions taking place in our great nation, one of the most interesting is the Art Revolution. In a country like ours, the world of art has exploded and multiplied manifold, with young artists exploring new mediums, expressing their thoughts, and giving homes to their imagination on canvases and the digital world.
At Art&Found, we are all for celebrating this growing culture of online galleries and giving artists a well-deserved platform to showcase their works. This Independence Day week, open your hearts and homes to 15 of India’s most talented emerging artists doing Indian art in not-so-traditional styles, and let them fill your walls with their signature touch of India.
1. Shweta Malhotra
When it comes to Indian minimalism, one of the first names that comes to mind is Shweta Malhotra. From the Surya Namaskar to her Bollywood series of Rekha and Sharmila to the iconic Drapes of India, her colourful palette combined with minimal style makes her perfect to adorn the walls of your home. Our personal favorite is this nostalgia filled piece full of wonderful memories like Phantom sweet cigarettes, Fusen gum, and the Kool water bottle that accompanied us to school.
2. Akshita Chandra
This one might be a bit bold for some of you, and probably not the best option for work space wall decor but this young artist’s exploration and celebration of sexuality in India’s cultural history is definitely one of her favorites. Titled ‘Being Censitive’ and inspired by the Khajuraho temple art, Akshita Chandra’s take on censorship and the perception of sex in the very birthplace of the Kamasutra definitely makes us admire her vision and depiction of the human form.
3. The Big Eyed Collagist
Sarah Kaushik, who dons the artist moniker of The Big Eyed Collagist, is one of the most creative minds in the country when it comes to collages as a form of art. Surreal and gorgeous in equal measures, she creates her own fascinating worlds in her artworks, which sure look good when they’re framed! Take our word on that. Definitely an artist worth checking out for the quirky Indian.
4. Neha Kapil
US-based Art&Found artist Neha Kapil’s ‘Birth Of Satyavati’ is a desi remix of Sandro Botticelli’s classic painting ‘The Birth of Venus’. We love how she has played around with the classic Western painting to give it an Indian context and ‘Easternized’ it to complement her imagination. Especially for those of you who enjoy the original, this touchover will be a refreshing change and most definitely one to take home and admire.
5. Pragati Sharma Mohanty
There’s a lovely balance of the traditional and contemporary when it comes to California-based Pragati Sharma Mohanty’s vivid works. Her experiments with miniature style compositions and a variety of humourous subjects make her works instantly likeable, and the underlying sense of exoticism to her paintings make them delightfully striking for wall decor. Her paintings are sure to make the guests laugh at a dinner party, to say the least.
6. Sadhna Prasad
Clearly a fan of pop art and colour, Mumbai-based Sadhna Prasad’s illustrations create a delightful world to indulge in. What we particularly love is ‘Dakshin Bhaarat’, her research-based project that focuses on the influence of Indian advertising stereotypes using Indian matchboxes as a reference point. Using monoprints and hand-drawn illustrations, she has created an extensive series that works great as standalone pieces or as a complete series to liven up your home.
7. Nikhil Acquilla
One of the most playful Indian graphic designers out there is Nikhil Acquilla, whose minimalist style is hard not to fall in love with. For the average Indian out there, the subjects of his illustrations and collages are another reason to love his style - from the classic Kidnap Mobile in Bollywood films to the Bombay local. If you love negative space like we do, this one’s definitely meant for you.
8. Manu Ambady
Some of the most amazing people in India are the people you meet everyday in your neighbourhood, whom you find at the same place day in, day out, the Aunty selling you vegetables and fish or mochi Uncle or the ones you meet on Christmas, selling Santa hats in the marketplace. As a tribute to these everyday heroes of India, Manu Ambady has created a series of beautiful portraits that are unique, visually appealing and definitely worth finding a place in your home.
9. Radhika Chitalia
There’s something about black and white that makes it an eternal classic. Pair that with delicious illustrations of vintage nostalgia-inducing objects like Sony cassettes, Singer sewing machines and gramophones and you have a winner that will appeal to anybody and everyone. From the mind behind ‘Handmade by Radhika’ comes a collection on our platform that looks great on any wall!
10. Raghu Kamath
Another wonderful tribute to an Indian that can be found on Art&Found is to the lifesaving chaiwalla and the tapri culture by Mumbai-based artist Raghu Kamath. Regardless of which part of the country you’re in, the chaiwala is an important figure, one that remains a permanent part of this country’s landscape. The handdrawn illustrations make for a rather homely touch wherever they are placed, and definitely beautiful to admire over a cup of tea.
11. Moksha Rao
Inspired by our ancient text on Indian Dance - the Natya Shashtra, Moksha Rao’s colourful sereies of mudras is one of the most rooted collections found on Art&Found. There’s something truly special about this Bharatanatyam dancer and artist’s abstract contemporarisation of hand movements, and we highly recommend it to anyone who can appreciate dance, art, or beauty in general.
12. Arjun Makwana
Yet another artist whose works feature the people of India is Arjun Makwana, who throws us back in time with his colourful, childlike portraits of the bansuriwala, the cotton candy seller, the kulfiwala, and the balloonwali among other integral characters who every Indian kid grew up watching and admiring. His unique style and colour palette make his graphic illustrations utterly enjoyable, and make for a great addition to a room, regardless of whether it’s a child’s room or an adult’s.
13. Ravi Arora
At Art&Found, we are all fans of the meeting point of art and mathematics, and it makes us proud to have on board artists like Ravi Arora aka Takalluf who share that love! The Delhi-based artist’s love for geometry, patterns and minimalism is impressive, and what results from these experiments is a series of delightfully symmetric artworks that mesmerise you into appreciating their beauty.
14. Kanika Sethi
An ode to the tribes of India, illustrator Kanika Sethi’s gorgeous series titled ‘People of India’ transports you from the Kathakali dancers of Kerala to the tribes of the North East. Kanika’s usage of colours to complement the quirky, minimal portraits is exquisite, and makes it one of the most stunning series that we have on the website.
15. Arshad Sayyed
As you may have noticed, we have a weakness for artists that tell the stories of Indians we can all identify it. The last of our tributes to the people of India is Arshad Sayyed aka Wallcano’s extremely cool abstract portraits of men like the golawala bhaiya or seekh kabab man or the chakku dharwala - people he has grown up admiring. What we love in his pieces is the bold interplay between black and white and colour that give it an added uniqueness that looks stunning on the walls when framed.
The artworks can be purchased directly at Art&Found’s website https://www.artandfound.co/
Neither the artists nor Art&Found have any connection whatsoever with the Scribbler.