Indian artists showcase creations, do well at New York Art Expo 2023

Art Mudra Founder-Curator Daxa Khandwala explains the two oil paintings of NY based artist Manoj Vyas at the NY Art Expo 2023 held March 30 through April 2, 2023 at Pier 36 in Manhattan, NY. Photo: courtesy Manoj Vyas

“Our participation at the New York Art Expo has been rewarding in many ways,” said Daxa Khandwala, founder and curator of Art Mudra, art expert based in Mumbai, India. Speaking to Desi Talk in an exclusive interview, Khandwala said her group of 22 artists from India, including Manoj Vyas from New York, had a unique experience of being exposed to artists and buyers from all over the world.

According to Khandwala, Art Mudra had a great success of selling more than 6 large major artworks, and many smaller paintings of individual artists in its gallery at the NY Art Expo.

Two large paintings by New York based artist Manoj Vyas drew special attention and many inquiries came for them. Both paintings depict women in Vyas’s characteristic style. “My paintings represent the colors of a woman in all her glory,” Vyas told Desi Talk. Woman is of utmost importance in the world, Vyas said, adding, “She has more colors than even nature. I am only trying to capture that.”

Artist Bharati Shah from Ahmedabad, India, is a self taught artist who took up painting as a hobby and then developed it into serious art. Shah told Desi Talk that as an artist, she  experiments with cubism. “However, I always impart my  personal touch and insignia of the circle to each of my paintings,” she said. Shah has taken her artwork to close to 50 art shows all over the world, bringing it to New York for the first time. The Art Mudra group became a family during the expo, Shah said, helping each other and looking after each other. Her experience at the NY Art Expo was very encouraging, Shah, who sold 8 paintings at the expo, said.

Artist Bharati Shah (left) and Art Mudra Founder-Curator Daxa Khandwala (right) at the NY Art Expo 2023 held March 30 through April 2, 2023 at Pier 36 in Manhattan, NY. Photo: provided by Daxa Khandwala

Khandwala said she puts the buyers in personal touch with the artists to encourage the artists to develop long term relations. This is where the artist in her overtakes her other identity of a gallery owner, as it does in preparing the artist for such big expos. Khandwala trains the artists, mentors them, and grooms them and their artwork at Art Mudra, providing valuable guidance into improving the quality, selecting the frame, and how to explain the painting.

Khandwala said coming to New York with their artwork was the first experience for many artists from her gallery. True to her role or a mentor, her advice to them was to mingle with other artists and explain their paintings to probable buyers. “I wanted them to consider this as a learning experience, and not just a material experience of whether or not their paintings will sell.” Khandwala said platforms like the NY Art Expo offer to the artists opportunities to communicate to others the drive behind their art.

Khandwala said being an artist herself, she knows the pain of an artist who is cheated by big galleries of his or her due share of publicity, promotion and exposure. These galleries charge a huge sum and do not help the artists at all, she said.

Art Mudra was born out of Khandwala’s desire to apply her knowledge and experience of over 30 years in the industry to help other artists in a human way, to nurture them and to mentor them and to promote their art. “I want their art to go to different places, to other countries,” Khandwala said. “Artists have only their canvas and color which they use to put their thoughts on,” she said.

Initially, Khandwala curated the work of few artists to help them, which later turned into a professional representation at Art Mudra which she later founded. Today, Khandwala has more than 2,000 artists’ work in her gallery not just from India, but from Singapore, Dubai, Turkey and many other countries. “Money is not important to me,” said Khandwala. “I want artists to remember me as someone who is always there for them,” she said.

“Artists are emotional.We have to deal with them carefully. I give them guidance on how to promote themselves at the end of a show like the NY Art Expo,” Khandwala said. She said some artists are sure of themselves, while some are scared of criticism or being unnoticed. Khandwala said she tells the artists to think only of presenting their talent to the world, without any other concerns.

Khandwala has been bringing Art Mudra Art artists to the NY Art Expo for three years. As a result, the organizers know her and work with her in selecting artwork of her artists. This year, Art Mudra had bought 3 booths, each displaying 6 or 7 artists. Khandwala said she personally looked after the display in each booth. “I had to remind the artists to display quality not quantity,” she said.

In the end, Khandwala follows her simple motto, to help the artist. She said she likes when new artists want to be part of her gallery representation. “At this NY Art Expo, Spanish artists from Puerto Rico expressed a desire to join Mudra Arts, and I was very delighted,” she said.



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