Art Plaza loses founder

The Art Plaza outside Jehangir Art Gallery has become as much of an icon, as the gallery itself. While established artists have to wait upto eight years to get a chance to present their work at Jehangir, Art Space became a place where budding (and broke!!) artists could exhibit their art free of cost.

Sadly as the Mid-Day reports today

For the last 17 years — sitting at his tiny office at the far end of the footpath that leads up to Jehangir Art Gallery — Kamalaksha Shenoy helped over 2,000 upcoming, struggling artists by providing them free space in his Art Plaza to exhibit and sell their paintings.

The man who conceptualised and formatted a new genre of pavement art — a launch pad for many budding artists — unfortunately died a lonely, unsung death in an obscure old age home in Panvel on 25 November at 73.

That Jenahgir Art Gallery was for years the prime exhibition space for artists, was a given conclusion. Shenoy seized upon this idea and petitioned the then Municipal Commissioner to lease him the space, and thus the same audience who thronged to the galleries at Jehangir, would get an opportunity to see other budding artists on their way in and out of the galleries.

These lines at the end of the article give us an insight about the man

Shenoy believed that commercialisation of art killed creativity. Selling one’s painting as an outcome of necessity, but not as a first priority of the artist was Shenoy’s belief, said Bhatt. Bhatt added that Shenoy, who was a painter himself, felt deep resentment towards the fact that an artists’ capabilities were often judged on the basis of his or her selling value…

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