Within 3-4 days of the Delhi Contemporary Art Week, in April 2021, the second lockdown was enforced. As most of my readers know, I have no taken the second lockdown well at all. And not just because I couldn’t go see art in-person. I love being surrounded by art – whether my own or that created by fellow artists. There have been quite a few virtual art shows, which is understandable considering the global situation but I cannot bring myself to find a substitute for viewing art in-person.
When I heard and read about the Call Me By Your Name exhibit at the Vadehra Art Gallery, conceptualized & curated by Udit Bhambri, I was intrigued. Mainly because the thread of the show was Love. The romantic in me ( who am I kidding – all of me is romantic ), HAD to go see. I also had great company in Pranay Baidya AND it was going to be my first time at the Vadehra Art Gallery! Never too late.
We were lucky to have Udit walk us through the exhibit and share stories behind each piece and how each of the artists had come together for this show. And quite a story it is. One of those “real life is stranger than fiction!”
The exhibit can be viewed in-person until the 13th of August, so if you are able and willing to go, GO! And say hi to Roshini Vadehra.
Both Pranay and I fell in love with the photographs of artist Sunil Gupta. Shot in the 1960s in India, the photographs represent gay love and are a delight to look at again and again. Also a sobering reminder that we, as a society, have not moved along much farther when it comes to being allowed to love whoever we want as adults.
The artists whose work you will be able to see at the exhibit are : Anju Dodiya, Atul Dodiya, Shilpa Gupta, Sunil Gupta, N. S. Harsha, Gieve Patel, Sudhir Patwardhan and Arpita Singh. Not all the pieces are available to buy.
Love has enthralled and confounded me. The illusion of control is nowhere more crystal clear than when one is in love. And what about the times when the person we love is not even aware of our existence? Is that even love? Affection, compassion, confession, companionship, carnal delights, laughter, camaraderie, heartbreak, tears, like navigating a thick, verdant, wet forest – sometimes dark and dank, sometimes bright green like emeralds and warm. Do I want to lose myself entirely in the other person when I love them? Do I take on their last name? If I don’t, is it a lesser love? I LOVED THIS ART EXHIBIT!
It is difficult, if not nearly impossible, to bring together a set of artists of this caliber under one roof and Udit should rightly be pleased with pulling off this exhibit. Here’s to many more!
See previous Art Features and Photo Stories on the Naina.co Blog.