Collage art gives freedom of texturing

Collage art gives freedom of texturing

Collage artist Sailesh Sanghvi has traversed from heading a family-run business for over four decades to being a self-taught artist. After a successful keystone in the shop, he moved over to develop and expand his artistic urges 15 years ago by experimenting with various art forms. Finally, he invented the unique medium of 'Acrylic Canvas Collage'.

His artworks have been exhibited at national and international galleries and exhibitions with solo shows in Lalit Kala Akademi (2014, 2015); National Bal Bhawan, (2013) and 'Zorba the Buddha' (2011 to 2013). He has participated in group shows worldwide: Artist Centre, Mumbai (2018); Durbar Hall Art Centre, Kochi (2017); 'The Artbox Projects', Basel, Switzerland (2017); 'Post Contemporary Wave', Turkey (2016) and Hooghly, West Bengal (2017) and received awards from 'National Book Trust of India', GOI, recognition award from the first International Art in Friesland art competition, Netherlands and 'Art through food' exhibition in Milan, Italy.

He also received a 'Promising Artist Award' in 'Confluence' 2017 by Galerie Art Eterne. He was awarded a 'Senior Fellowship' by 'The Centre for Cultural Resources and Training' (CCRT), Ministry of Culture, GOI- 2017-18.

Millennium Post's Ravi V. Chhabra met up with the artist and spoke about various aspects of collage art.

For you, what is collage art?

It is a multi-medium that gives anyone with art in their head complete freedom to use varied materials.

What kinds of titles have you done?

I have done titles on dances of India, Benares (paper collage), 'Raaslila', Pondichery, 'Gateway to Gods' and more about many states in India. I like to promote Indian culture.

You are an affluent artist, if one may take the liberty to say so. Most artists struggle for survival, why is that?

I wouldn't contest that. However, it has taken me decades to reach from a family-run small shop in Delhi's Chowri Bazaar, living in rented places to the present self-owned house in south Delhi.

Do thousands of artists work and die struggling?

I would say artists should have a good on-the-side honourable income to sustain their art. They should do something extra to support their art. It could be teaching art in a school or working with an NGO so that they aren't left with a brush in hand and no money to buy canvas or paint.

Is there an underbelly in art?

Unfortunately, there is. Just like in most professions globally. It's the art gallery owners and caucuses that approach good, struggling painters, buy their art really cheap and then squirrel it away to sell it at far expensive rates via their 'channels'. They know how to market it and that is the game, without naming galleries.

What medium(s) have you been using for collages?

Whatever suits my mood. I have done paper cut-outs, ghungroo, canvas cut-outs, cloth, threads and beads.

Do you listen to music while working in your studio?

I listen to low-volume Indian classical music from 'Dhrupad' to sitar solos and also the European classical masters.

Do collages sell well?

The highest selling collage fetched me US$ 12,000 in Austin, Texas (USA).

Does collage art have a bright future?

All forms of art have undergone a sea-change in the last few years due to COVID-19. Art can be seen and bought online. However, with collage art, one has to feel the real material for authenticity and texture and 'whet' the materials used. Therein lies the difference. It has immense creative and sales potential.

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