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Verve People
July 14, 2013

Through A Kaleidoscope

Text by Wyanet Vaz. Photograph by Ryan Martis. Location: Priyasri Art Gallery.

Back in the day when shanty movie theatres and scarce restaurants were all that small town Baroda had to offer, Priyasri Patodia grew up going to art exhibitions, classical recitals and made trips to the bookstore with her father. With a catalogue of rich imprints, this art dealer and curator has manoeuvered the field to frame art for everyone

Art smart
Degree in textile design and Indian classical music, and courses on sculpture in Baroda. Trained in Human Resources at NTL Institute, Washington and took a course in marketing at the Northwestern University, Chicago. Owner of Priyasri Art Gallery in Mumbai and AQ@Priyasri-The Artist Studio in Baroda.

Key shows
Past Forward – a recent oil on canvas by Akbar Padamsee, Post Visual World – a photography show by Pablo Bartholomew, Atul Bhalla, Hemali Bhuta, Chirodeep Chaudhuri. Contemporary Printmaking in India – a national level printmaking show with 100 printmakers and graphic artists.

First lessons
My parents collected sculptures and pottery from all parts of India – stone carvings, bronzes, marble statues and contemporary art, which they bought from students. At these times, my mother commissioned works not just as a help but as a true patron of art.

Curatorial eye
I like to follow an artist from his academic years, his works, his study. It’s not just the work but his vision that is important to me. Collectors would be investing in him and thus, he needs to be consistent and honest with his art.

Curatorial philosophy
Socrates would begin with ‘I don’t know’ and that would be my philosophy too. I look at an artwork and it keeps me interested only if it is able to engage me into asking questions, whether it is to myself or the artist.

Priyasri Art Gallery
Along with representing some new media and young contemporary artists, we represent two masters of our country Jogen Chowdhury and Akbar Padamsee. We believe that if we want to be impeccably liberal we have to be open-minded about art forms, and not neglect that which does not fit comfortably into today’s intellectual category or trend.

Street Art
Art is for everyone. Our efforts have been to build bridges and reach out to a wider audience. We are working towards installations in public spaces. Everybody, everywhere makes art – it’s about giving an opportunity to each one to leisurely enjoy a piece of creativity.

Art in your home
I do have a marginal collection of sculpture, graphic art, watercolours and audio-visual art. The works in my personal studio keep changing but there is an installation of Riyas Komu which has made a permanent space for itself titled ‘The tragedy of a carpenter’s son.’

What’s next
An upcoming show on lithography at Gallery Priyasri in Mumbai. Next would be a show on graphic books, a collaboration show with artisans from Dogra, and a solo show by veteran artist Jogen Chowdhury by the end of this year.

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