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Artistes transform public spaces in the city into live art platforms, taking their work to the masses
So you are rushing to work on FC Road, when you run into a street play being staged on the crossroads or are walking through Tulsibaug to see the street lined with an exhibition of photographs or get pushed around in a mall by a crowd making way for a flash mob that has broken into a dance. Welcome to Pune, where a surprise awaits at almost every turn as artistes reclaim public spaces to set up stage and bring art to the masses a la Paris.
While the sudden burst in public performances is certainly a boost to the overall culture in the city, there are several more motives behind this experiment. For Raju Sutar, who recently demonstrated live painting at the Indo-German Urban Mela, a public performance is an attempt to bring art to the masses. "Artists want art to get out of galleries and to the public. That is why artists such as M F Hussain and many others have had live painting sessions," he says. In the past few years, several local artists such as Ajay De, Sujata Dhrapa, Kiran Bableshwar and others have had live painting sessions at varied places such as Ishanya Mall, Malaka Spice, Bliss Art Gallery and even Shaniwarwada, in an effort to reach out to more people.
Sadakchaap, a street exhibition at Tulsibaug followed the same principle of bringing art to the masses. Abhijit Patil, the organiser says, "Only a certain kind of people go to galleries to view art and only a few artists get the chance to exhibit at these galleries. Public exhibitions are a way to democratise art. At free events like this, any artist can display their work, and anybody can come and appreciate it," he adds. The concept of a free-for-all exhibition attracted so much attention that Sadakchaap will now have regular editions in different areas of the city every month.
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