“I think in the creative industry, you’re either a creator or a curator,” rues Aditya Mehta, founder of Art & Found. He’s the first to admit that he’s no artist and is tinged with envy whenever he sees the work of talented illustrators. However, his amazing eye for design and love for creativity in all its forms led him create an art collective where India can showcase the very best it has to offer.
Of the many revolutions taking place in India’s cultural sphere, the Art Revolution is taking some of the most notable strides. The art world has exploded from an undervalued and unappreciated aspect to one that is rapidly blossoming through mediums, methods and expressions. This Independence Day, Mehta initiated a project called ‘15 for the 15th - A Curated Guide to Indian Art for Indian Homes,’ aimed to create a platform to showcase the work of talented Indian individuals and the growing culture of online galleries. 15 artists will be displaying and selling their work so that people around the country will have a chance to add a little fine art to their daily lives.
It is his hope that these emerging artists doing Indian art in original and progressive fields will help garner the country the value it deserves. Art is the cornerstone of cultured society and Mehta hopes his efforts are creating a solid and sustainable base for Indian Art to continue flourishing, as he says, “Art is the purest form of expression for the social, cultural and political landscapes of our times. In our own way, we at Art & Found are preserving the art of our times and plan to do so for a long time.”
Read on to meet the 15 talented artists and get a taste of what they have to offer.
All these prints and more can be purchased on the Art & Found website.
I. Akshita Chandra
This bold young artist’s series titled ‘Being Censitive’ is an exploration and celebration of sexuality in India’s cultural history. It’s inspired by the Khajuraho temple art and her take on censorship and the perception of sex in the very birthplace of the Kamasutra definitely makes us admire her vision and depiction of the human form.
II. Arshad Sayyed
Arshad Sayyed aka Wallcano’s extremely cool abstract portraits of men like the golawala bhaiya or seekh kabab man or the chakku dharwala - people he has grown up admiring. What we love in his pieces is the bold interplay between black and white and colour that give it an added uniqueness that looks stunning on the walls when framed.
III. Arjun Makwana
This artist throws us back in time with his colourful, childlike portraits of the bansuriwala, the cotton candy seller, the kulfiwala, and the balloonwali among other integral characters who every Indian kid grew up watching and admiring. His unique style and colour palette make his graphic illustrations utterly enjoyable, and make for a great addition to a room, regardless of whether it’s a child’s room or an adult’s.
IV. Kanika Sethi
An ode to the tribes of India, illustrator Kanika Sethi’s gorgeous series titled ‘People of India’ transports you from the Kathakali dancers of Kerala to the tribes of the North East. Kanika’s usage of colours to complement the quirky, minimal portraits is exquisite, and makes it one of the most stunning series that we have on the website.
V. Manu Ambady
The people you meet everyday are sometimes the ones that are imprinted on your memory whether it’s the Aunty selling you vegetables and fish or mochi Uncle or the ones you meet on Christmas, selling Santa hats in the marketplace. As a tribute to these everyday heroes of India, Manu Ambady has created a series of beautiful portraits that are unique, visually appealing and definitely worth finding a place in your home.
VI. Moksha Rao
Inspired by our ancient text on Indian Dance – the Natya Shashtra, Moksha Rao’s colourful sereies of mudras is one of the most rooted collections found on Art&Found. There’s something truly special about this Bharatanatyam dancer and artist’s abstract contemporarisation of hand movements, and we highly recommend it to anyone who can appreciate dance, art, or beauty in general.
VII. Neha Kapil
US-based Art&Found artist Neha Kapil’s ‘Birth Of Satyavati’ is a desi remix of Sandro Botticelli’s classic painting ‘The Birth of Venus’. We love how she has played around with the classic Western painting to give it an Indian context and ‘Easternized’ it to complement her imagination. Especially for those of you who enjoy the original, this touchover will be a refreshing change and most definitely one to take home and admire.
VIII. Nikhil Acquilla
One of the most playful Indian graphic designers out there is Nikhil Acquilla, whose minimalist style is hard not to fall in love with. For the average Indian out there, the subjects of his illustrations and collages are another reason to love his style – from the classic Kidnap Mobile in Bollywood films to the Bombay local. If you love negative space like we do, this one’s definitely meant for you.
IX. Pragati Sharma Mohanty
There’s a lovely balance of the traditional and contemporary when it comes to California-based Pragati Sharma Mohanty’s vivid works. Her experiments with miniature style compositions and a variety of humourous subjects make her works instantly likeable, and the underlying sense of exoticism to her paintings make them delightfully striking for wall decor.
X. Radhika Chitalia
There’s something about black and white that makes it an eternal classic. Pair that with delicious illustrations of vintage nostalgia-inducing objects like Sony cassettes, Singer sewing machines and gramophones and you have a winner that will appeal to anybody and everyone.
XI. Raghu Kamath
Another wonderful tribute to Indian life that can be found on Art & Found is to the lifesaving chaiwalla and the tapri culture by Mumbai-based artist Raghu Kamath. Regardless of which part of the country you’re in, the chaiwala is an important figure, one that remains a permanent part of this country’s landscape
XII. Ravi Arora
The Delhi-based artist’s love for geometry, patterns and minimalism is impressive, and what results from these experiments is a series of delightfully symmetric artworks that mesmerise you into appreciating their beauty.
XIII. Sadhna Prasad
Mumbai-based Sadhna Prasad’s illustrations create a delightful world to indulge in. What we particularly love is ‘Dakshin Bhaarat’, her research-based project that focuses on the influence of Indian advertising stereotypes using Indian matchboxes as a reference point. Using monoprints and hand-drawn illustrations, she has created an extensive series that works great as standalone pieces or as a complete series to liven up your home.
XIV. Shweta Malhotra
When it comes to Indian minimalism, one of the first names that comes to mind is Shweta Malhotra. From the Surya Namaskar to her Bollywood series of Rekha and Sharmila to the iconic Drapes of India, her colourful palette combined with minimal style makes her perfect to adorn the walls of your home
XV. The Big-Eyed Collagist
Sarah Kaushik, who dons the artist moniker of The Big Eyed Collagist, is one of the most creative minds in the country when it comes to collages as a form of art. Surreal and gorgeous in equal measures, she creates her own fascinating worlds in her artwork