Gallery Chanakya has come a long way since it began operations in 1969 primarily to give patronage to contemporary art in the Capital.
The persons who have done much to foster artists are Mrs and Mr Shanmmi Mendhiratta, Who with almost no capital began their venture in the field of art with a single – minded purpose to sell contemporary works of art done by famous artists like Husain, Satish Gujral , Santosh, Nareen Nath etc. And these painters do sell but these are limited to foreigners and the rich business class who thinks it is a status symbol to own their paintings. But a majority of them have no aesthetic background nor do they possess any cultural tradition. And this fact alone creates a vitiating atmosphere in which contemporary art cannot flourish.
In Gallery Chanakya at a hotel, tall, fair – skinned Mini’s life is not all fan and glamour as one would imagine. She small-ingly says she is giving herself just one more year in the “struggle for survival” and she may be back to her old love which is dancing. Singing and the theatre.
The ‘struggle’ would sound a paradox from one who owns a shop in a posh hotel. She and her husband founded Gallery Chanakya at Yeshwant Place eight years back because, as Mini says, They found it difficult to meet the expenses of the gallery merely by organising painting exhibitions. Gallery Chanakya , her Husband’s baby, continued on its journey of establishing many an unknown “modern” painter to fame and in come, while Mini’s little shop sold brass and metal sculptures. Colth paintings and what not.
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