Mumbai-based Ma Passion is helping Jaipur’s miniature artists gain a firmer economic foothold
A trip to meet Jaipur’s myriad unsung miniature artists can only make your spirits sink like the dunes that surround them. Indeed, one of the most depressing things, if you’re an artist, is to go around distributing your CV tom-toming your achievements in grammatically wrong English. Unfortunately, that is the sort of story playing itself out in the numerous nooks of the fine arts throughout artistic addas across India. Miniature painters in Rajasthan just form one of those sorry lots. However, there seems to be some way out. And at the helm of it is a unique Mumbai-based arts organisation.
Ma Passion, a Mumbai-based art dealership, has devised a way out for many of the worker bees keeping Rajasthan’s miniature arts alive. “There is a big market for miniature arts from the state, but what we see is the neglect of the artists who have created them and are sustaining centuries-old traditions like Kumawat art,” says Dinesh Podder, managing director, Ma Passion. “We’re here to ensure that these artists get the requisite encouragement and backing to produce their work and get a sense of economic protection.”
It has enlisted some of the well-known and not so well-known artists of Jaipur like Mahaveer Swami, Chottu Krishna Kant Sharma and Shammi Bannu Sharma—who is part of seven generations of miniature artists going back to the Mughal era. There are also artisans working on carving gemstones, which form a separate texture in Rajasthan’s cultural extravaganza. It’s these riches that Ma Passion hopes will find their due.
Come December, they will be exhibiting in metros across India, taking off from Mumbai. Hopefully, by then, they wouldn’t need to hand out their CVs to all and sundry.