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Why I do what I do

This website will give you a glimpse into my work as an artist,  community builder and activist. I have been negotiating the world through the lens of a creative entrepreneur for the last two decades. It's been a wonderful journey with a lot of learning and collaborating with people I deeply respect.
In the coming years, I believe that creative thinkers will be crucial to document, stitch, hold and present the world. We are at the very edge of collapse on one side, and of a future that can spin out into unimaginable wonders on the other. I believe we can get to the happier side by working together!

Hi, I am Nirali Lal

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November 21st, 2007

I remember a line from a newspaper review about one of my paintings which was exhibited in a group show in 1998 in Bangalore, it said something like… ‘this painting reveals a rather nostalgic collection of one’s childhood and days of innocence’. I understand this to serve as a befitting underline to all my work since then. I have gone through various creative and ‘not so’ creative processes since my education in Painting which I completed with a Bachelors’ degree from Chitrakala Parishath, Bangalore in 1998.
Grappling to get out of this redeeming predicament. I have struggled to restrict my creative child-like impulses, and to create a good work of art based on what is ‘proper’ and not what is free. I understand this dilemma is an outcome of various influences and changes that I underwent, in process making me and my decisions. After completing my Bachelors’ degree in Painting, I went on to pursue a Masters in Art Criticism from Faculty of Fine Arts, M.S.U., Baroda, which I completed in 2000.
My stay in Baroda made me realise a new energy, a new focus, a new knowledge of Art History and of course new dilemmas. The conflict between theory and the actual act of painting. The conflict between the artist and the critic in me. Soon after completing my Master’s, I returned to Bangalore and started working for the portal company, Saffron Art based in Mumbai, which at that time was in its infant stage. I lasted 6 years with them, working as an Art representative for Bangalore City. My work involved sourcing ‘good’ contemporary Indian paintings from various galleries and artists primarily from Bangalore, but also from other regions in South India. While the company magnified enormously, so did my confusions leading to yet another series of dilemmas. What is quality Art? Art which the masses approve… or Art which the market exaggerates? Or art which is solely an artists’ expression???
Being in a market oriented world, and working as a ‘marketer’, I had to choose art which sells. Disillusioned, I continued this job, for quite a many years. But during the time, I continued to explore and search for my own creative expression. In 2006 May, I had to leave Saffron Art, as I had to travel. (Already a lot of travel leave was taken… in 2003 I travelled back packing to Europe for about 2 months and later that year ‘almost on foot’ to various places all over Karnataka for another month…. all this being quite an eye opener!). For the next 2 years, I was running all over, painting, writing art reviews for newspapers and artist’s catalogues and finding excuses to be lazy. These experiences made me realise a lot about myself, my Art and the world around and far away from me.
It was finally in May this year, that I realised that I have to concentrate on my art and pursue it whole heartedly.
Thus, soon after my return to Bangalore from the US, I packed my bags and moved to Baroda, a great city with alot of ‘focused artists’. I have been in Baroda for 4 months already, with my own space and am painting!
The three of us getting together to write this blog is an excellent idea. Thanks Arc. I am sure the interactions, disagreements, and the appreciation will help us create meaningful and positive art, releasing all inhibitions and helping us explore various creative possibilities.

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  • hey Nirali – well written. i almost feel like re-writing mine. i mean i seem to have given a laundry list of things i have done and not really talked about how they influenced me…o and really this idea is all 3 of ours, so no need to thanks me silly!!

  • Hey Nirali,
    Its interesting to read how what you were doing at a specific time was feeding your creative urges. I think the whole art for marketting and art for oneself is a great topic for discussing/debate. I think that you should push your inner child though..