“India’s first miniature format art show was hosted by Progressive Painters’ Association in Pune in 1971. They even hosted similar shows in Chennai and Mumbai in 1972. Years later, a few veteran and upcoming artists have come together to showcase their work in smaller formats. When we discussed this idea with senior artists, they were thrilled about the outcome. There is a misconception that art is only for the elite class. We are breaking that notion and making art affordable to all sections of people,” informs S Saravanan, the current president of Progressive Painters’ Association.
He says that earlier, even the topic of art was discussed only by a particular section of people. “Many considered art as a luxury, but now things are changing. A lot of people are now talking about art and we can find budding artists experimenting with various artform. What I have noticed is that if we reduce the price of artworks and sculptures, people, especially, youngsters are checking them out. This is just a beginning and I am sure we can expect major changes happening in this field,” he adds.
Saravanan and the team are planning to take the exhibition to other parts of the country. “Usually, our exhibitions at Cholamandal Artists’ Village are packed; but because of the current situation, we are only allowing a few visitors at a time. But still, the footfall is decent. Another reason why people are preferring small-size artwork is that they don’t have enough space at home to keep bigger art. Shrinking wall space has created a huge demand for small format art,” Saravanan points out.
Artist and writer Parvathi Nayar agrees with the idea of affordable art and how art should be enjoyed by everyone. “I love the idea of smallscale artworks as a new trend because it would mean such art is being bought by people to hang up in their homes. We need the public to feel this sense of ownership about the contemporary art scene, feel that art enhances the socio-cultural landscape and support local artists. That is the key to expand the art collection base. To this end, lower price points could be helpful,” says Parvathi.