Indian artists should take more political risks
Tasneem | 01 Mar 2011

Indian artists as compared to other artists are less forthright. They have tried to embody what already exists but haven't shown the ills of our society.

EVERY MAN has a story, a tale to tell. The desire to express themselves and be heard. Those few people who are capable and skilled enough to bring those emotions and grandeur in their creations are written down in history. They are given the title of artists as they are capable of something which we never thought was possible. Artists could be painters, sculptors, architectures, musicians or even actors.
Indian artists have a distinct advantage over the others. The varied culture and the geographical diversities that our country provides are very unique.  The pre modern artists like Amrita Shergill and Raja Ravi Varma all depicted great paintings of their times. Even modern artists like M F Hussain and Ram Chandra Shukla have managed to produce works of great stature.
The very common traits about Indian artists are that their pictures depict a lot of what is going on in the community itself. They haven’t really tried to break the shards of commonality. Amrita Shergill’s work dominated womanhood. She depicted them in different ways but always keeping the traditional outlook vehement.
Even Raja Ravi Varma had a stance for women as the household head who takes care of the child and cooks food. He has portrayed women who always have to be protected from the evil. Topics like sexuality, orgasmic pleasures were also dealt very rarely and with much cover up.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini was a great sculptor. He sculpted The Rape of Proserpina, Ecstacy of St. Theresa and a lot more. His art was raw and not vulgar at all. His personal life always affected his creations and he didn’t have a problem exploiting it.
However, when it comes to the country’s history towards governance, artists have been quite vocal. Various movies and art forms have been made on injustice, maladministration and exploitation. However none were as popular as Picasso’s Guernica. Modern art was defined by Pablo Picasso. Guernica shouted the evil done to the people during the Spanish Civil War. It is arguably the best piece he ever created.
He very cleverly and brashly portrayed the brutality and inhumanity done to the people. He did not stick to the conventional ways of it and made a masterpiece that is still cherished.
Indian artists should be more active in the country’s governance and use their art to question the system. Paintings, sculptures, movies, dance forms and sometimes even graffiti speak more than just a voice. It would help build perspectives and give the mass voice another outlet to express their resentment. Like Bernini, his constant fight with Borromini and his alliance with the kings got him a great deal of power and freedom to express.
He, however, used it majorly for his personal advantage. Pablo Picasso created a huge uproar with his canvas Guernica.
If we have an outlet and the skill to manoeuvre it to our advantage, we should use it to the maximum. If artists exploit politics and argue on conventional moralities of our country, the dimensions it would open for the country’s upheaval would be tremendous.