‘Contemporary Signatures’ – 60 artists showcase the beauty of creativity at Monalisa Kalagram

Launched in 2014, PhotoSparks is a weekly column of Your story, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In the previous 640 posts, we featured a arts festival, cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom fair, millet fair, exhibition on climate change, wildlife conference, boot festival, diwali rangoli, and jazz festival.

The Monalisa Kalagram in Koregaon Park, Pune is this week hosting an exhibition titled Contemporary signatures. The aptly named art center is founded by mother-daughter duo, Mona and Lisa Pingale.

“Organized around the festive season, this exhibition offers you the perfect opportunity to bring home a work of art that you are sure to appreciate and cherish over time,” say curators Sapna Kar, Rajneeta Kewalramani and Lisa Pingale.

The exhibition, now in its second annual edition, showcases the work of 60 prominent and up-and-coming artists across media and genres. See First part and Part II of our coverage of the first edition in 2021.

In this photo essay, we feature the works of artists such as Amol Pawar (A dream come true), Arti Kirloskar (Tropical forest), Arzaan Khambatta (Horsehead, let’s party tonight), Jagannath Paul (Unity), Seema Kohli (Kamdhenu), Mohan Naik (Scenes from my village), and Narhari Bhawandla (Villagers of Telangana).

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Other artists include Neerja Peters (Hope & Transcendence; Revelation & Divine Rhythm), Seema Kohli (Tree of life), Shreekanth Kurva (Roosters), Suraj Kumar Kashi (The Pathmaker), Umakant Kanade (Nature Series), Vivek Kumawat (Nandis dancing), Nishant Dange and Purvi Parmar.

Some works are sold from Rs 40,000 to Rs 8 lakh. Visitors are once again flocking to the galleries as the pandemic shows signs of easing.

“The pandemic has been a bad time for all businesses, but especially for art. Art was still considered a luxury, so it was affected the most,” explains Lisa Pingale, Co-founder of Monalisa Kalagram, in conversation with Your story.

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The gallery was closed for the duration of the pandemic. “We were trying to do our best for artists trying to sell their art online, but it wasn’t the same. But luckily that has now changed,” she adds.

Digital media also impacts the art world in many ways. Physical works of art are promoted and purchased online, while new categories of digital art have also emerged.

“I sincerely believe that art must be seen to be appreciated. I’m not a huge fan of online sales, but things are changing,” observes Lisa.

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“We have younger buyers who prefer digital media and we’ve started to cater to that,” she adds.

She also offers advice to budding artists. “Stay connected to the market and trends,” concludes Lisa.

Now what have you done today to take a break from your busy schedule and find new avenues to apply your creativity?

Lisa Pingale

(All photographs in the exhibition were taken by Madanmohan Rao on location at the gallery.)

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