Marketing gimmick or creativity?

DNA - India

Experts debate over an emerging trend where artistes are going overboard to grab attention

Is it necessary to get gimmicky to make a point or convey a message? Does one need to go over the top or get ‘quite contrary’ to create an impact or stand out in the crowd?
Recently, there was much talk about Chintan Upadhyay’s rather innovative - and attention grabbing - posturing. The artist had told After Hrs that “These series of ‘babies’ highlight that, how after the advent of globalisation all the countries have started looking the same. Hence we are losing our individual identity.”

Statements have often been made, experimentation has also been done, sometimes more personal and subtle. When Reena Kallat showcased her installation made of silk saris, it too made an impact. The saris with Braille dots created a warm feeling - memories of a maternal womb as one stood within the room at the art gallery.

Artist Payal Khandwala admits, “Chintan has grabbed attention, but to each his own. Every artist has his/her own way of delivering a message. Such things work for they do catch the attention. Hats off to him for what he has done. I work differently.”

Earlier, veteran artist Lalitha Lajmi had told After Hrs, about the shock value and gimmicks in art, “Many young artists are in a great hurry to acquire fame and money.
Though, there is nothing wrong with it but sometimes they go overboard with it. And the quality of their work suffers. There are so many opportunities for young artists to display their work. It would be really nice if they put more efforts in their work than other things.”

Shireen Gandhy, Gallery Chemould Prescott Road, pointed out, “I haven’t seen the work, only Chintan’s ‘ad’. It does not make his work less serious for he is basically playing off from his work. You are extending the message of your own work in a dramatic way. I would say that it is an act of courage not a gimmick. More so, because people are likely to turn up their noses wondering what he is actually doing.It is an expression of creativity, getting your message across.”

While talking of all things creative, can the ramp be far behind? Rohit Bal and Manish Arora have often raised eyebrows with their style statements and few can forget Narendra Kumar Ahmed’s models making a silent comment as they walked the fashion runway at a fashion week with tapes on their mouth as the amiable designer made a comment in his unique way. But, that is another story.
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