Art of the Matter

As you might have noticed, several art magazines have been launched in the recent past. A couple of weeks ago, The Bombay Art Society had a formal launch of its Indian Contemporary Art Journal in the city. Today, most art magazines are available at limited venues, for instance at galleries and a few other outlets. The editor of the Indian Art Journal revealed that they plan to retail the publication through popular bookstores, which is an excellent idea as it will greatly enhance accessibility and availability.

Interestingly, at this point not a single magazine is being brought out of Bangalore. On the other hand, Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata have several art publications to their credit. However, what we do have are writers and artists. In fact, there are many writers from the city who contribute to these publications, (it is another matter that many of them write for most of the magazines - no exclusivity here!)

Quite a few artists have put forth the need to have a dedicated art magazine that is brought out of Bangalore. A publication such as this may give a much needed impetus to the art scene here. Even a simple online version, to begin with might be a good idea. Apart from being a source of information to people interested in art, such a publication could focus on a larger number of artists in the area – smaller shows and upcoming artists can also be profiled. A wider circulation to other parts of the country would provide greater exposure to artists and galleries.

Incidentally, the number of galleries in the city is rather limited, even though there are many artists who reside here, but end up showing their works outside, or moving out of Bangalore in search of opportunities.

The problem, I am sure is not in bringing out a magazine, which is comparatively an easy task, but in maintaining it. The logistics and financial aspects of running an entire publication is a daunting process and needs a large amount of support in order to be sustainable. However, it is eminently doable and one hopes that one of the many corporate offices in the city may take up the challenge to take on the entire responsibility or at least fund it.

(Published in Bangalore Mirror)