Goa Affordable Art Fest

Dr. Subodh Kerkar

The Museum of Goa (MOG) has decided to launch Goa Affordable Art Fest (GAAF). The 1st edition of GAAF will be held at MOG from 17th December 2017 to 28th February 2018. We sat with Dr. Subodh Kerkar the founder of the museum and his artist son Siddharth to know a bit more about the festival.

How did the the idea come about?

Dr. Subodh Kerkar: The initial idea of displaying affordable art came from Siddharth.  It perfectly sits with our mission at the museum. I feel we need to do a lot more to bring art to the masses. In a country of more than 130 crores, we don’t have more than a couple of lakh people who know or are involved with contemporary art and collection. It is a scary thought. The general public doesn’t have a clue about our artists or what they have created. Very sad state of affairs.  Why it has come to this sorry state of affairs is best reserved for some other day. The general public never had the opportunity to view any art in their lives.  I believe the time has now come to give opportunity to everybody.  The accessibility to contemporary art is there in NGMA in Delhi and Mumbai, but not anywhere else in the country.  There are a select few who display the masters but they too are elitist in their approach.  The common man can’t reach them.  Everybody should have access to art and enjoy it.  Today was one of the happiest day of my life.  We had around 600 people visit the museum.  It is fantastic.  One of my mission statements has been to take art to the masses.  Art for all.  Everybody has the right to enjoy art.

What are some of the challenges?

There is a great misconception that common people do not understand good contemporary art. According to me if the artist is unable to communicate to the viewer, what he or she wishes to convey, then the artist is equally responsible.  Rumi and Kabir used an universal language in their poetry.  It wasn’t one writing for aristocrats and the ruling class and another for the peasants and the common man. It was for everybody.  This is my inspiration.  I am glad Siddharth came up with this concept for the festival. With added help from social media, it has become very big.  I hope to do it every year.

What is the importance of the festival?

It is very important for everybody to connect with good art. It teaches us many things. One of the most important aspect is to celebrate life, feel the joy and happiness.  Another function of art is to understand a different  perspective and point of view. Art doesn’t say that this is right and that is wrong.  It is open to interpretations. I genuinely believe that the younger generation needs to connect with visual arts. When you connect with art you become more tolerant you become more plural and nearer to god.  Very much needed in today’s times of fundamentalism and mediocrity. Hence I believe that this festival will full-fill  all the objectives that I and my team stand for.

Goa Affordable Art Fest (GAAF). : 17th Dec, 2017 – 28th Feb, 2018.
Venue: Museum of Goa, India.