‘Our scars hint at the heroes inside us’ – artist Gunjan Shrivastava from the Contemporary Signatures exhibition

The Monalisa Kalagram in Pune is hosting an outstanding exhibition, put together by The Curators.Art. Here are some pictorial highlights and artistic insights.
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Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the earlier 560 posts, we featured an art festival, cartoon gallery. world music festivaltelecom expomillets fair, climate change expo, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

The Monalisa Kalagram in Koregaon Park, Pune, is hosting an outstanding exhibition of over 30 contemporary artists, titled Contemporary Signatures. Some of the artworks are priced from Rs 45,000 to Rs 5.5 lakh.

The art hub is founded by mother-daughter duo, Mona and Lisa Pingale. It regularly features art exhibitions, workshops, book readings, and film screenings.

The current exhibition has been conceptualised and curated by The Curators.Art. The exhibition has been open for physical viewing in November, and can be viewed online this weekend as well.

Samir Mohanty - Nature at Play

“I personally curate most of the shows held at Monalisa Kalagram. When we invite a guest curator, it is always someone who has a vision beyond what we can offer Pune audiences,” explains Lisa Pingale, Co-founder of Monalisa Kalagram, in a chat with YourStory.

The team of TheCurators has put together the current pan-India representation of art. “Besides collectors, there are so many art students, artists and general art lovers who have been able to broaden their perspective of art, across styles and media,” Lisa adds.

“The aim of the current show was to have options for collectors across genre, style and price points – in other words, collectors at different stages of their collecting journey,” Sapna Kar,  Co-founder, TheCurators.art describes.

The featured artists have developed a signature style and are already recognised at some level in the art world. “The response from Pune was overwhelming and Contemporary Signatures will be an annual feature in Pune at Monalisa Kalagram,” Sapna enthuses.

Umakant Kanade - Nature II

“My series, The Victory Chronicles, celebrates the positive triumphal woman who has accepted herself: all her wounds, scars, bad days, good days, the failures, and the triumphs, and has come out shining like a star,” Mumbai-based artist Gunjan Shrivastava explains.

Every scar has a story, thought it may not be visible, Gunjan says. “They are marks of triumphs projecting our strength and resilience, of our bodies changing and growing. Our scars hint at the heroes inside us.”

“Art is about storytelling. I personally feel that your artwork connects better if it has a series that tells an intriguing story and connects at a different level,” she describes. She notes that artwork in a series adds an experience to the space, making it real and mesmerising.

Gunjan Shrivastava - The Victory Chronicles II

Gunjan has also founded You Lead India Foundation, and displayed her ‘Cyanotypes’ artworks at the exhibition. “Effective collaboration between a curator and an artist can only happen when there is an alignment of thought process and purpose,” she observes. This calls for trust and bonding.

She looks forward to more such collaborations in the post-pandemic era, in India and overseas. “I would just like to urge all the artists to focus towards sustainable art and make that as a central objective,” Gunjan signs off.

Now, what have you done today to pause in your busy schedule and find new avenues for your creative core?

Swati Pasari - The Childhood Memories

Sreekanth Kurva - Bull (Benarasi) II

Nishant Dange - Untitled

Jagannath Paul - Bond of Love Series I & II

Jehangir Sabavala - The Woods, Palni Hills II

Anand Panchal - Untitled

Bharati Pitre - Pakshi

Oinam Dilip - Frida Kahlo

Satish Gupta - Abundance

Seema Kohli - Uchchaihshravas

Nayanaa Kanodia - My Companions

Venkat Bothsa - Enigma I

Vivek Kumavat - Nandi 2

Shuvaprasanna - The Golden Flute I

S Sivabalan - Childhood Memories I

See also the YourStory pocketbook ‘Proverbs and Quotes for Entrepreneurs: A World of Inspiration for Startups,’ accessible as apps for Apple and Android devices.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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