Koregaon Park, the art hub of PuneNews — By The Desk on June 13, 2011 at 12:16 PM
Indian Express: The dynamic North Main road in Koregaon Park has for years been the via through to the most ‘happening’ art exhibitions and musical gigs in Pune. In its carefully numbered and inter-locking lanes, many art galleries have found their homes. The general perception is that, if you are in KP, you are in the hippest and poshest possible place to sell art. But a lot of this thought could ride on a cultivated aura of the area and not any real artistic understanding.
Bliss Art Gallery was started two years ago as a part of the Chordia group of businesses. Aarti Das, the curator of the place, admits that the image of KP being “hi-fi” and the sight of foreign visitors and residents roaming freely, points to business possibilities. “I think it promises a little business; it’s like a little assurance,” she says.
Standing in contrast to Bliss’s unceremonious entrance is Ark Arts and Frames. Multi-storeyed and tastefully minimalist, this is one of the latest entrants to the art scene in KP land. But realty matters influenced the decision here more than art. “We needed space to start a complete design studio. We found the right property here,” says Yogi, curator for Ark. The 6,000 sq ft studio and lounge claims to experience a “constant flow of art throughout the year” and is happy with the business since its inception in October last year.
But Yogi doesn’t buy into any KP exclusivity when it comes to art. “While there is awareness about art in KP, I think that if art is presented well and with the right attitude, people will come. Art conscious people will come anywhere,” says Yogi.
One man who begs to differ is Jayesh Sachdev. The artist started Emblem Art Gallery in 2007 in KP but it shut shop a few months back. “I think the core strength of the staff, an understanding of art by the back-end at galleries, is missing here. Emblem suffered because I was having shows in New York and other places and I couldn’t quite balance priorities,” says Sachdev. He admits to the ‘reputation’ advantage of KP. “The foreigner factor is a strong one here. But honestly, the art scene is in the nascent stage here; there are not many serious buyers,” he says.
Yash Moghe of Waves Art Gallery near Pune station, agrees, “I have met only a couple of genuine art collectors in the past 10 years. I also feel that if galleries club art with crafts, they diminish its seriousness. If the business is low then it’s because the investors have stayed away.”