An art fair here, an art fair there…art fairs everywhere! The art Calender is keeping people busy and making them globe trotters from Miami to New York, from London to Paris, from Hong Kong to Singapore, from Delhi to…Delhi! If our travel calendar wasn’t busy enough, India and Delhi has another art fair to the ever-growing number of fairs. Called United Art Fair, this fair is the baby of Mr.Anurag Sharma who owns an art logistics company. Though the fair started out as a highly ambitious project, it took various shapes before it’s inauguration at the good old Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.
The Fair has turned into an artist driven exhibition rather than gallery-driven. Artists are invited to apply to participate in the Fair and are shortlisted by a Selection Committee, about whom I don’t know much. The artists are required to give one work to the organizers in lieu of their participation, or a commission. Fair enough.
The opening, to my surprise, was well attended. It lacked many ‘blue-chip’ artists and collectors but had 600 artists who may or may not be seen regularly in well established galleries. It also saw many new buyers, some who were buying their first painting at the Fair. There was a video lounge (which I never got to see running), talks as well as a VIP lounge, which on the opening night, was much more crowded than the galleries!
The opening night saw some confused souls (including me) who were trying to locate the names of the artist, as well titles, mediums, etc. Shocking but true, the organizers could not get the labels up in time, leaving a lot of us lost. When I started taking pictures of the paintings to remember them, I was politely asked not to by the guards. I failed to understand how this could happen…anyways, ‘What’s in a Name?…It’s the art that matters!’