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Gallerist Shares keys to find success in the art world: Reena Lath, Akar prakar

Watch & Listen to this podcast Episode.

In this engaging episode of the Arts Two Hearts podcast, host Charuka Arora interviews Reena Lath from Aadprocard Gallery. Reena shares her journey from a non-art background into the realm of art curation and gallery management. They delve into topics such as the evolution of the art market, the influence of digital media, the role of young buyers, and the spiritual aspect of art creation. Reena’s insightful perspective sheds light on the intersection of tradition and modernity in the art world.

Key themes include Reena Lath’s early encounters with art, the changing landscape of art collecting, the blending of utilitarian and spiritual elements in Indian art, and the significance of consistent practice for artists. The discussion highlights the importance of passion, dedication, and a deep connection to one’s work in the art industry.

ChapterTimestampDescription
Introduction and Welcome00:00.00 – 00:18.28Charuka Arora introduces the podcast and guest, Reena Lath from Aadprocard Gallery.
Reena’s Background and Journey00:18.28 – 01:38.77Reena Lath discusses her unexpected path from hotel management to the art world through her husband’s family.
First Encounter with Art01:38.77 – 05:20.41Reena Lath describes her initial exposure to art, particularly a sculpture by Meera Mukherjee, which ignited her interest.
Early Challenges and Mentors05:20.41 – 07:47.99Reena Lath talks about her mentors and early experiences in the art world, including interactions with notable artists.
Establishing the Gallery07:47.99 – 12:13.58Discussion on setting up the gallery, showcasing the collection, and transitioning from buying to selling art.
Changes in the Art Market12:13.58 – 15:04.30Reena Lath reflects on the evolution of the art market in India and the impact of digital media on art sales.
Engaging Young Collectors15:04.30 – 18:11.78Insights into the younger generation’s approach to collecting art and how digital platforms have influenced the market.
Utilitarian Aspect of Indian Art18:11.78 – 25:48.10Discussing the utilitarian nature of Indian art, cultural influences, and recognizing its value.
Consistency and Passion in Art25:48.10 – 29:52.67Emphasis on daily practice, dedication, and the spiritual journey of creating art.
Social Media and Galleries29:52.67 – 33:38.97Reena Lath shares thoughts on social media’s role in promoting art and giving visibility to artists.
Team Dynamics and Learning33:38.97 – 37:15.76Discussing dynamics within the gallery team, learning from younger colleagues, and adapting to new ways of working.
Women in the Art World37:15.76 – 39:57.56Exploring the role of women in the art industry, leadership, and unique challenges faced by women.
Upcoming Projects and Information39:57.56 – 41:22.86Information about Aadprocard Gallery, upcoming exhibitions, and how listeners can connect with the gallery.
Closing Remarks41:22.86 – EndCharuka and Reena Lath wrap up the podcast with final thoughts and well wishes.

00:00.00
charukaarora
Hey, you guys welcome back to the arts two heartts podcast I am very excited because I have another wonderful guest on the podcast today with me another woman from the arts and we have rina lat from the aadprocard gallery from India and. I welcome you but to the podcast rina.

00:18.28
reena lath
Thank you charuka. It’s a pleasure to be on this podcast. It’s exciting to know that you’re you’re doing something for women and you’re doing something for an artist. It’s art has been something that I have loved for.

00:22.82
charukaarora
Thank you so much for your night.

00:37.72
reena lath
Many many years and I’m glad that I run a gallery today and we have galleries in Jelly and in Colcutta Ah I didn’t come from an art background I Actually yes know I did what my and management. Yeah, so.

00:39.58
charukaarora
Um, who well yeah oh I didn’t know that That’s what that’s what this podcast is about.

00:57.29
reena lath
I Did my hotel management and then I yes I got into the arts. So my husband’s family. My husband’s family was they were art collectors and were propagators of art education as well as theater.

00:58.27
charukaarora
Oh Wow. What brought you there.

01:16.90
reena lath
Ah, music So well it was just it happened very very easily and before I knew it I was very much involved in the arts and in terms of buying in terms of looking in terms of seeing in terms of learning.

01:27.72
charukaarora
Involved in the process.

01:36.20
reena lath
So yeah, that’s my background.

01:38.77
charukaarora
But tell me something before this encounter did you ever before that considered yourself I asked this question to I think I asked this question to all galists or anybody who is not an artist but in other role because I think instinctively when you feel you’re creative or have an aesthetic urge or you know, um. It’s or maybe it’s natural to me because I come from the creator side due to to think like you you could make something you could be an artist yourself or did you not had any interest before that what was your introduction before in the early years or when you were growing up. Did you were you? The girl.

01:59.31
reena lath
No.

02:15.90
charukaarora
Like you know in India girls are creative boys are athletic. You know that way.

02:21.12
reena lath
Um, no, the creative edge was there because I loved cookie at the time and I wanted to be a chef. So I think food. Yeah food and art is very much related in terms of its.

02:23.24
charukaarora
Okay. Oh wow.

02:35.76
charukaarora
I Can oh God I relate to that for sure. Yeah, recipe making intuitive process. Yeah, you know, even my work right now. Um I.

02:38.56
reena lath
Ches flavors, presentation colors. Ah the um theance the all of it. All of it is very very yeah everything. Yeah yeah.

02:53.28
charukaarora
Play with a lot of embroideries and in India like we make food and you know even though I don’t think we typically at home make food like add spices on top like that. But that’s also how advertisements work and you know we sell food so a lot of time when I am playing with embroides and I’m making a painting and I I top off.

03:03.53
reena lath
Yeah, yeah I.

03:11.89
charukaarora
You know employees like that and I feel like oh my god I’m living another dream of being a cook and an artist both so I do relate to that. So how was your first encounter when.

03:13.48
reena lath
Vision That’s right, That’s right that is right? So so my first encounter with art really was a piece of sculpture by me Ra Mukaji which I had.

03:30.39
charukaarora
Okay.

03:32.94
reena lath
Scene at our friend’s house so where we had a kind of a dinner or meet and there’s this very mangled pieces of irons sitting on the table. Um, it was a lot happening into it I didn’t understand it to be honest I looked at it and I was there for almost to ask for that meeting.

03:53.22
reena lath
And the piece was there. The people were talking things I didn’t understand in that particular day because they were talking about aesthetics and they were talking about philosophy and I was very young um was I think I think I was.

03:53.46
charukaarora
Um.

04:01.13
charukaarora
Um.

04:07.43
charukaarora
Um, yeah, how young were you? Oh my goodness.

04:11.44
reena lath
19 at the time and yes and I saw this but be. But interestingly I think this was a great way to start because by those 2 hours I had nothing to do except look at that piece of sculpture right in front of me.

04:19.20
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

04:25.71
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

04:27.14
reena lath
Which I probably would have never given myself that freedom of time and so that was my introduction to art I saw that work and the more I looked at it the more it made sense the the more it kind of spoke to me and it was later that i. Decided that I’m going to do something for me ramokkaji because that was really my first foray to modern indian art and contemporary art. Yes, and then we did do books for her and we took her exhibition to um to.

04:50.70
charukaarora
Into the eye.

05:03.82
reena lath
Ah, munich to the staberg is see book and my bookheim museum she has studied in Munich and the academy there and so we managed to take a big big exhibition of her there which of course was the diamond mark.

05:16.30
charukaarora
Wonderful. Yeah.

05:20.41
reena lath
Exhibition. So yeah, that was my first foray into knowing about art and like just learning it. Yeah yeah.

05:25.61
charukaarora
Lot. So first here but tell me something very honestly you know a lot of times I I like to take um my friends who do not come from the art world at all. But I from the business world because I think I overlap between these 2 the most. And a lot of time there when people go for the first time I’m not talking about modern art yet because that’s ah, that’s a very different concept. It takes a lot more understanding for someone to approach that even but just you know the contemporary art space and I see a lot of reactions I think people feel intimidated people feel. Ah. Their opinions um should be worthy. They have they need to have something maybe intellectually right? more deep psychologically strong. You know things like that to say or often there’s another group who’s like oh what’s what’s in this sometimes there’s a you know people raise eyebrows for priing like you know when. If we see as a third party there are a lot of different reactions that happen. Um, when you were entering you. You know what was your first did you feel intimidated in that sense that you know because not coming from that. Um, it’s kind of a background. You know we often feel like. And I think that is the most pure form of looking at art honestly. But we don’t know at that point that actually that is what is it but we are often intimidated that that idea no okay.

06:44.29
reena lath
And.

06:49.85
reena
No I don’t think I faced any intimidation. No, but because I think um, we were already So the family was already buying art and they were already very very accepted into galleries and.

07:05.62
charukaarora
So you had that.

07:09.80
reena lath
Into museum spaces. So I remember going to various exhibition openings and so I was always a bio at the time when I did go and it was very easy for me to say I like this let’s buy it and it was not intimidating at all. But.

07:24.90
charukaarora
Um, yeah, oh yes, Yes, from that of Blank slate.

07:29.80
reena lath
So I don’t think I came from that position. Yes, yes, but but I must say that my really my mentor was my ex-husband’s father. Dr. Mukulnat who was a scholar of music.

07:46.62
charukaarora
Oh wow.

07:47.99
reena lath
And he was a collector and he had actually started to collect art from the early 1970 s and early late 1960 s when he has started buying some of the finest pieces that we have in the collection. So. So ah I remember in fact, when I started my gallery just skipping some years forward when I started the gallery and I went to Oxford Paami and I said you know I would like to have some works of yours for my exhibition it so it was a group show.

08:21.78
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah, imagine.

08:24.12
reena lath
And first he said no you know I’m not so sure. But then I said no but you know I’m Dr. Lott’s family and was like oh yeah, of course, no no, no no you take whatever you want, you can tell me when you like and so that’s the kind of responses I had in fact, ah.

08:32.69
charukaarora
Who yeah.

08:43.27
reena lath
Um, artists from the artist community and from galleries who whom I introduced myself through and they were very very warm and I think I was already part of the the art community without really realizing that? yeah.

08:43.29
charukaarora
Um.

08:54.22
charukaarora
Yeah, but tell me something how um you’ve been here for 20 years 20 years is a good time and specifically in the art world. How rapidly evolving and changing with the digital age. It has been um you I’m sure you’ve seen.

09:07.84
reena lath
So.

09:11.78
charukaarora
A huge varied you know, variety of things happening experiences first um, can you share your gallery’s perspective or what it feels to run a gallery at that point and now the goods in the bats.

09:13.69
reena lath
Right? yeah.

09:21.81
reena lath
So yeah, okay, so like I said I didn’t come from a art training so to speak yes and it was more I think love and passion which drove us.

09:31.48
charukaarora
At.

09:41.11
reena lath
To be kind of setting up the space so we initially felt Bijit and I together when we started the gallery that let’s show the collection because we actually only knew how to buy art. We didn’t know how to sell it.

09:54.40
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, yeah.

09:57.39
reena lath
We said okay, let’s show the collection and that will kind of help us to break into this gallery space which we had made in Calcutta. We actually had started in Jaikur earlier but that was again showing the collection which we would kind of curate right. And because we had documented all of the family collection then when we started in 2004 in Calcutta. Ah we began with excellent exhibition of lakshmagor whose collections we had in.

10:17.20
charukaarora
Um, who.

10:30.25
charukaarora
He.

10:35.55
reena lath
Family and that at that time I called lakshma and I told them that listen I’m doing this exhibition and we have that entire selection of works which most people didn’t have because we had bought the family had it from the 1970 s and then we had been dying from various.

10:46.49
charukaarora
Who who Wow imagine yeah.

10:54.95
reena lath
Options already. Besides what we had. We had been buying from different options. Especially we have got from um the heart option that double truly had done so we had a collection from there and then we had what some other works so where by the time 2004 happened the auction market had already kind of changed. Established itself. Ah with osns as the first auction house and so when we and I called him and he said yeah sure great. We are doing it. Um I said do would you like to add 1 or 2 works because we have this whole almost like a retrospective of your work.

11:16.33
charukaarora
Um, right.

11:32.24
reena lath
And he said yeah I’ll so I’ll send it to if you want to sell it. You can sell it so it was like a wow you are okay I get to sell the work but that was really my first experience of selling an artwork from the exhibition. So yeah, it.

11:45.77
charukaarora
Wow.

11:49.36
reena lath
It was quite quite an eyeoper that you made a commission on sales because we only bought till then so it was like oh you pick somebody? Yeah like oh you but make somebody? Yes, yes so it was a interesting kind of.

11:54.29
charukaarora
Um, yeah, you only spent money. Ah you made money. This is a different story altogether.

12:07.10
reena lath
Idea that we opened us as to Keyo besides showing the collection we can also and yeah sell works. Yeah, and that’s how the gallery really picked up and before and I knew it yeah, the art word is very good to me.

12:13.58
charukaarora
Ad works to it. Yeah started. How do you think that? How do think this selling has changed as a galleryist from then to now has it become more complicated more approachable.

12:27.94
reena lath
No, no this same.

12:30.99
charukaarora
Ah, opened up like but it’s it does not feel anyway different than has it not added in ways.

12:35.35
reena lath
So no, ah selling is the same for centuries that doesn’t change so mediums might have changed but ah, what has changed I think in India.

12:42.40
charukaarora
Yes, the mediums might have changed.

12:51.44
charukaarora
Okay.

12:52.74
reena lath
When we started off way back ah into Tao like oh so around 97 we set up the day of the jepo gallery where we were really not selling. We just putting up works that we were not even trying to sell in 2004 when I started and we did a nu the show of lakshma. We realized and of course we were in the auction circuit so to stick because we were buying works from the options. Ah and from galleries of course. So what we realized was there are really a handful of collectors. And in those days I remember yeah we could count them on our hands 50 collectors and I remember also many discussions on how do you increase that number for because if you’re looking at an infrastructure for the asked that.

13:29.51
charukaarora
Collectors hi.

13:41.64
charukaarora
Group here. You need to have a bigger base.

13:48.54
reena lath
Buyer basee must increase the bigger base and I remember then many discussions with other option houses organicists or even buyers. Who said oh you can can’t just count 50 buyers. You have to have 500 buyers but by the time I reached 2006

14:02.30
charukaarora
Yes.

14:07.84
reena lath
The but you know the art market had just boomed. It was boomobing and I think the market then did go up to about 500 buyers and a lot of Andris came on board at that time lot of new people came on board but 2008

14:10.15
charukaarora
Um, list had grown. Yeah.

14:27.87
reena lath
With the Levin Brothers the whole bust happened and the market here market collapsed ah for art and it was a very difficult time. But I think what I want to say is and if your question is how does it change. It’s always changing but.

14:31.22
charukaarora
Um, that have no yeah time.

14:46.42
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

14:47.57
reena lath
Ah, buying and selling never changes that remains the same was buy what I want to tell you still remains the same but the number of buyers the kind of buyers the market that’s going to constantly evolve and that it has I think for the better. Yeah.

14:50.30
charukaarora
The fundamental still remains the same.

15:04.30
charukaarora
Who Very interesting, very interesting and how has um, digital. Um, as a gallerist approaching New Young Buyers A lot of you know, a lot of reports have come out where you know? ah.

15:11.58
reena lath
And and.

15:19.50
charukaarora
Young buyers are taking a lot of interest in the arts investing in the art specifically people who come from money they’re seeing art as a worth of investment. But there’s also another whole section of who thinks contrary you know, like always how do you think has that um the the digital buying media. Ah, the younger generation.

15:28.77
reena lath
And.

15:38.86
charukaarora
Their buying patterns how they respond to art is that any different from what you’ve experienced in the past.

15:43.80
reena lath
So what I would say is it’s it’s interesting that more younger people are buying art as opposed to five years ago five years ago my buyers because we have a portfolio of.

15:52.12
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

16:02.17
reena lath
50% modern mar masters and 50% of contemporary artists. Yeah, so because our it’s pretty much equal. We are not only a contemporary space for so pasting out. Yeah.

16:07.54
charukaarora
Contemporary.

16:16.51
charukaarora
Contemporary. Ah yeah.

16:18.96
reena lath
We show contemporary, modern and contemporary art. So we had very very serious collectors who would come to buy from us. So ah I’m not going to talk about the boom because that was a bubble which burst. Yeah, so that forget about that.

16:32.51
charukaarora
A different. Yeah.

16:38.11
reena lath
When we look at the serious way of buying and selling in the market and response to the of the youth to the to art in the last five years I find that there are younger people who have deep pockets who are also I would.

16:52.81
charukaarora
Yes.

16:56.43
reena lath
Since your biobase or your subscription base is more in the Us I must compliment the whole western way of looking at art which has kind of promoted this um this in the youth especially of.

17:01.98
charukaarora
Oh short. Absolutely.

17:11.52
charukaarora
Made it more approachable.

17:15.50
reena lath
No I know Ah, well yes, and also what I want to add is that their education in the West has added to this whole way of looking at art. Not only as an investment but art as something that you must own to show your.

17:20.98
charukaarora
Um, yeah I died yeah respond to.

17:33.98
reena
No to show your um to show that you have really arrived in this world of money and yes because you know how many bmws can you buy how many teslas would you get how many homes.

17:39.36
charukaarora
Oh that way. Yeah, can you buy? Yeah yeah.

17:52.83
reena
You need art you need must have art if you want to show that you are cultured and you have you’re not just some random person who’s made a lot of money but you’ve got as the sense of yeah.

18:06.80
charukaarora
You have a story to tell you want to document that I Really love that way.

18:11.78
reena
Oh yes, okay, the story you build, but it’s really about you know? Ah, if you’re young, you’re making money you you made these companies or these startups and you’ve you know, really gone out there and made your billions.

18:20.20
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah.

18:29.61
reena
But how do you show that you ah you have learned some culture along the way and you’re not a young Urban Ah you know the one of the yuppies and the puppies you are beyond that and the best way is through art and I and that I feel I’m.

18:40.53
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

18:48.85
reena
Must say that the western training has been very important because in the west you find that colleges the part do encourage their students to go visit the museums and to to be or or they often often. The university has a museum inside like the Berkeley.

18:52.34
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

19:00.37
charukaarora
Yeah, it’s a very common numb he and in itself and it’s also very common for them. Yeah.

19:08.85
reena
Which has the museum this night Massachusetts just that yeah has a museum sign so that I feel is 1 thing I must specify that the younger but collectors are often Andris and they have all they are back back in India but they study elsewhere. They’ve learned that.

19:16.98
charukaarora
Are.

19:26.86
reena
Artist has to be an important part. Having said that to the Indian students to all the Indian entrepreneurs the younger ones Aro are smart and they they are they are doing the same you know by just talking and learning.

19:27.29
charukaarora
Dave understood yeah.

19:46.78
reena
So that is also happening. Yeah, they are very good and gone.

19:47.16
charukaarora
Yeah, you know I have said this a lot of I’ve said this a lot of time on the podcast and I when my own experience working deeply very globally India and beyond us and beyond. Um I’ve seen this stark difference where I feel like um. In India um, it’s become a little bit of more democratic but it’s still on the top of the funnel a little few steps down but not still penetrated down to the bottom versus when I saw this specifically in the vest. Um, you know India is a craft rich country. We go bottom top to bottom. Um, and you know. Um, it. It goes both ways you know people understand appreciate and ah value that because it’s very deeplygrained into culture. But when it comes to let’s say um also it’s very utility utilitarian we look at um.

20:33.54
reena
Yes.

20:43.80
charukaarora
You know investments in the sense of we I think the Indian way is very very different versus what I see as a different way of collecting in the us is it starts very young. It’s very deeply it. It goes from bottom to up. Ah you know, um the collection also starts with a few young.

20:45.98
reena
And.

20:52.58
reena
And.

21:02.18
charukaarora
Ah, students or young whenever you know, whatever age group they’re in um, start buying posters and then it’s like an addition and then it’s their first tworational then it’s a smaller piece then it’s a bigger piece and it’s been something that you know it’s it’s it’s a part of their life. It’s not something that if I have money.

21:11.66
reena
And.

21:17.80
reena
And.

21:22.40
charukaarora
And if I want to stabilize that show that etc etc. It is um I I will have to buy it instead. It is like you know art is a form of expression Aesthetic Beauty Whatever there’s so many different reasons one can buy art for and it starts at such a low price and. Such an entry level. Um, ah way and then it climbs up and I’ve seen that with my own journey I’ve seen where people have like you know, um, just bought a very little piece and then came back and then came back and then came back to only build up on it and I see when people collect. Also I see this is a.

21:56.12
reena
And.

22:01.90
charukaarora
There’s a little difference on how this behavior and and I feel like it’s contributed a lot in the specifically in the contemporary because a lot of independent artists I think are able to leverage that kind of behavior for sure.

22:13.32
reena
So okay so I’m going to just add a little something here. You know if I look back into history of art of making and selling and buying. So I’d go back to the nineteenth century. But and you know in calccutta and around the areas.

22:16.71
charukaarora
Yes, absolutely.

22:28.76
charukaarora
Okay.

22:34.34
reena
Um, Butala Studios The Calcutta art studio and many such were were butshrooming at the time because the printing press was kind of had come in. Yeah and they were using it for propagation for advertising and also for.

22:42.41
charukaarora
Had come in.

22:50.51
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

22:52.79
reena
And so going back to that I mean there was a lot of art selling even at that time. But yes so I want to say that you are strong. You’re pretty right about the Utilitarian factor in this whole situation. Yeah, in fact, so much so that.

23:02.24
charukaarora
Religiously yeah perspective. We’ve all had Aja Aviva Ma as a calendar you know that is one I think a very strong example.

23:12.47
reena
Absolutely absolutely. Yes.

23:18.57
charukaarora
Of how we’ve consumed but but in my opinion I think a lot of us my parents never saw it as art. They saw it as gods they saw it as a calendar they saw it as worshipping. So I think that didn’t build up on that behavior for them.

23:24.85
reena
And yes, you no so your your factor on the Utilitarian aspect of art collection and this you know you’re right see we grew up. We grew up with.

23:37.36
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

23:44.10
reena
Haji Rao we grew up with Hoayan’s tomb we grew up with ah ah, all these amazing temples and the taj mah yes, everything everything all the indian temples and the but and benaras and Magenta so this is all what we know.

23:46.58
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

23:49.76
charukaarora
Died may.

24:03.16
reena
Just grow up with it. It’s and and I must say that we have ah also used it like we’ve gone there on holidays. We’ve gone there to steal it. Um and I think that still is ah you know you go there to see these things to embi.

24:14.70
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, um, yeah, yeah, yes, absolutely yeah.

24:21.88
reena
You may go as a pilgrim also but you also so at this whole thing of utilizing it Utitarian Fact you you said such a beautiful word. This totalitarian art is part of our lives which is why which is why.

24:32.32
charukaarora
Yeah.

24:37.80
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

24:41.88
reena
I Feel it is so much a part of it is we eat a drink it. We see it every day that we don’t look at it as an investment. Yes, which is the thing which I find that the the western training brings for us to make us realize that.

24:48.37
charukaarora
Investment. Yeah, no yeah.

24:58.10
charukaarora
Who.

25:01.71
reena
Hey this also needs to be valued this also needs to be indexed. This also needs to be treated as ah that you know Natobu Herki Morgi It is like it’s the all around you.

25:06.86
charukaarora
Um, who.

25:08.92
charukaarora
It is. Yeah yeah, yeah, absolutely India’s one of the richest country when it’s come to art in culture and crafts like there’s.

25:16.46
reena
It’s all the time that it’s in our text styles. It’s in our Ica. It’s our embroidery. It’s. It. It’s the way of our lives. It’s utitarian, but but it has to have that value. Yeah, so that value I own. So when you shed the light on us the value arises you see it.

25:28.73
charukaarora
Yeah, yeah, no I get your point. Yeah I Get your point. Well yeah.

25:43.13
reena
Ah, what it is and that is happening now I think globally for India and and even internally yeah.

25:48.10
charukaarora
Yeah, no I think that’s an interesting repine I like that Aja tell me something how has this evolution been. What do you think you’ve been working with artists. Um and not only artists I think what’s unique about it is ah you you can see a very 3 60 view.

25:55.78
reena
So.

26:03.92
reena
And.

26:05.70
charukaarora
Of an artist join me and I’m not saying names. You’ve you’ve worked with you know, biggest of the names but being able to see them from a very aerial view in a bird’s eyee view of how they started to. You know their arrival. Whatever that means in so many? What do you think? how would you describe for anyone who’s listening. Let’s say is an artist.

26:13.77
reena
I Of course. Yeah.

26:23.15
reena
And.

26:25.50
charukaarora
And we all have big dreams. You know what do you think is let’s say consistency. Ah you know how we talk about Red flags and Green flags and how artists make it and what that journey looks like for someone you know who who can reach that path.

26:42.30
reena
So it’s very simple. You know in music. Ah you do rias every day and if you don’t do rihas. You don’t reach anywhere. You may be like a prodigy.

26:42.72
charukaarora
Okay.

26:52.40
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

26:58.40
charukaarora
Um, yeah, yeah.

27:00.10
reena
But you have to do yours and you may not be a prodigy and you still have to do your riars and if you do your rs your training and your everyday sadana of whatever you’re practicing will recover yeah.

27:12.22
charukaarora
I Love this I was just I was just about to say that no I took pain.

27:18.99
reena
So that will lead you to wherever you want to go and you can be not coming from an art background and yet if you are engaging in that activity or putting your mind body and soul into something. So.

27:25.46
charukaarora
Um, absent.

27:34.52
charukaarora
Practice every day. No I I Love this word of sad now I I am a big believer of yoga. No I think then.

27:38.53
reena
Yes, it’s very straight I know. Yeah yeah I know many artists across the world. Yeah, so if you don’t do something every day and and it’s not just doing you become you.

27:56.35
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

27:58.22
reena
You it’s a way of being into it I am met Raza spent many ah day with him and he he would start sometimes at four zero in the morning wake up in the middle of the night. Maybe we can’t sleep. He just get up. Go up to his.

28:02.49
charukaarora
Okay.

28:15.21
reena
Easier and start working and and and mind you the working was not just a working his working always had a prayer before it. He would start his day with a prayer or I real K the famous poetry. Okay and he would say.

28:18.27
charukaarora
Um, who.

28:21.89
charukaarora
Um, yeah, oh well.

28:31.27
charukaarora
Um, yeah.

28:34.39
reena
And which was basically about connecting to the soul. He would say that prayer and begin his work. So ah, so both these things if you if you Rere revere your work and you are doing it with that.

28:40.51
charukaarora
Hello.

28:53.60
reena
Mind-body soul connection. You’re bound to make it nothing hundred percent

28:56.24
charukaarora
It’s a very spiritual journey as artist I feel art making um it’s you know like you said Sadna I really believe in the psychology of you know, um, how we say th um you know it will. It will take a lot of positive variance persistence and a lot of. Pain in the sense of I’m not saying pain in the sense of driving art which is a very no common notion but also tougher. You know you really Ah, build yourself through the hardships and this you know you build yourself and I think it is like it is like is like you know how you. Um, it’s like finding diamonds how the process of making a diamond is how from the rough to the final out committee arrives I think it’s it’s a very spiritual and um the more from the insight you become 1 from who you.

29:36.00
reena
And.

29:52.57
reena
And yeah.

29:52.67
charukaarora
What you feel on the outside I think more stronger yours conviction gets how do you think? how do you see the social media world now as an galleyist. Um hi. It’s the communication has changed. Do you find artists online. Do you look at artists online. Do you watch on Instagram how has your.

30:04.39
reena
That’s great.

30:10.32
reena
Um, ah I ah so my my Instagram I hardly use my it’s the gallery Instagram and my team team keeps telling me and reminding me I should be putting my stuff.

30:12.83
charukaarora
Patterns evolved.

30:25.72
reena
There but somehow I have not ah, not got convinced about it. No no, no, no. But I have not convinced about putting myself that because I feel ah it’s.

30:31.16
charukaarora
Found the time yet I Hope oh not convinced about it. Ah, and yeah.

30:43.86
reena
Look. It’s a great place. It’s a great marketplace for me. It’s a great marketplace for people to see ah but it’s the art I’m selling. It’s my artists. It’s not I am just the via media or the the presenter of it.

30:57.74
charukaarora
Yeah.

31:00.85
reena
It’s really my artist and we make sure that our artists are given the lineline so that we are very clear as a gallery that it’s our artists who must be seen and they are yeah yeah, so that we do. It’s their exhibitions their artwork and so my role in that is.

31:09.37
charukaarora
Putting artists in front of the art.

31:20.18
reena
You know I work. Ah I work for them for their for their ah visibility. So I do that? Well so.

31:23.87
charukaarora
Yeah.

31:30.91
charukaarora
Um, yeah, but having young now you started 20 years back now I’m sure you have um, younger colleagues and teammates and which have you know specifically gen z they have such vibrant ideas and.

31:37.15
reena
And.

31:47.46
charukaarora
Of course millennials. But also I’m assuming you have young team because you know in the digital world. There are a lot of young people working. Do you see yourself learning and also conflicting with a lot of the views or how is that dynamic with you.

31:47.60
reena
And move. Yeah, yeah.

32:01.65
reena
No no I learn because I don’t know anything about this world like it. Ah.

32:07.50
charukaarora
Okay, what’s most most surprising for you have you any incident any story to tell that you felt like I didn’t know this could happen or you know anything.

32:20.87
reena
No I think I’m also I my team works I Um, you know I believe ah any any organization is as good as its team. So um and my team is really really good. So they really I mean I.

32:30.87
charukaarora
Absolutely okay.

32:38.25
reena
Whether it’s my co-director Viji who I discuss things with but about the market or which artist we have to show to my curator who gives her inputs about what she feels is going on in the and kind of the digital space as well as the artistic space. Yeah, my administrators.

32:41.36
charukaarora
You.

32:50.49
charukaarora
In the gate.

32:57.00
reena
You know, talk about how we’re going to manage things So like it’s so we are kind of it’s so all these ideas and my social media person who’s heading the team there. So these all these people are you know we have meetings very regularly and we listen to each other. And then we take a call on what’s so it’s never a surprise for me to be honest, like it’s so I think I’m just growing with it. Yeah, it’s I’m just in I’m interested because I’m like Wow. Okay, this is New. This is a new way to work. Let’s do it.

33:19.39
charukaarora
No way, No fun story to tell? Yeah, yeah, yeah, experiment. Yeah yeah.

33:31.70
reena
Um, always willing to experiment and try because that is that is our constant change. How do you? How do you cope with that? Yeah, we must be able to cope with it right? so.

33:38.97
charukaarora
Yeah, right? Okay, 1 last question. Okay, this is not art only but like I said my I’ve been. There’s my every but every part of my body and soul is about womanhood. Um.

33:53.60
reena
The the.

33:56.19
charukaarora
Not only me as an artist but also what I do at ours project. It is hyperfocused I don’t think there’s any other way I know any other lens I know and I always ask this and I truly feel women especially in today’s time I feel like women make great leaders the way we can multitask um the way.

34:01.11
reena
Them and.

34:15.76
charukaarora
We can compartmentalize. Um and how right in left brain like there’s so many different aspects. So what has been Ah, do you think your journey being a woman in the business and in the art world has positively impacted your role and your journey so far.

34:18.90
reena
And.

34:31.33
reena
Me.

34:34.67
charukaarora
And if you think has you have your faced where you felt like you know, ah discriminated or in any of those words couldn’t back both if you have anything to share.

34:44.44
reena
So okay so I just want to say that I appreciate women and I think you’re right, They can multitask and but you know I would not want to separate myself like that. In fact, if I look at my.

35:00.94
charukaarora
Yeah.

35:03.76
reena
Trajectory of artists we have I have 2 important women artists who work with me Jaishhiakravati and Mera Mukaji before that wera of course passed 98 jaishri is the contemporary woman artist.

35:20.10
charukaarora
Um I.

35:20.43
reena
Working in the field of ecology and she’s a fantastic painter and ah, she’s creates these installations both these artists. Interestingly don’t want to compartmentalize themselves as women. Not.

35:35.99
charukaarora
Lies themselves. Yeah.

35:38.19
reena
They say? yeah we are women fine but why should that separate me from you know it doesn’t matter what matters is what I’m doing how I’m doing it and let me tell you ah both of them. It was I’m sure very difficult to be in a place where.

35:43.10
charukaarora
A a a a.

35:57.81
charukaarora
Um, in his space. Yeah yeah, yeah, yeah.

35:58.10
reena
Were already men after to create their space for Mea as a sculptor there were you know there were be men’s sculptors and she got into that area. So for me I feel. It’s not about whether you’re a woman or you’re a man or you’re. Your somewhere the middle. It’s not that it’s about your connection that you make within yourself if you’re very you find that sweet spot spot Inside. You are whether you’re a man or a woman you succeed you’ll do whatever.

36:26.30
charukaarora
Um, who.

36:36.78
reena
You are here to do but the art world is kind to women I can tell you that that I mean if that’s what you want to know man. Yeah.

36:40.44
charukaarora
But tell me something. Ah how that’s a good news. No I don’t I think I’m not specifically saying in this ah terms of Gender Bias I asked this question because um, and maybe this could be very personal to me because you know, um. I Grew up in a way that I felt ah you know passive patriarch in a country where we grew Up. Um, then I lost my mom So a lot of my own theme and my experience comes as a woman and I’m only trying to understand I feel like you know.

37:15.13
charukaarora
The career path. Also if we say is not the same as it is for men in the sense of you know, a lot of calls and decisions we have to take a lot of um, you know I have a team I have a team of a lot of Mothers. Um, one of my designers just had a baby. She. She worked all throughout um, all throughout her pregnancy and then she took a break and we kept throughout with her and now my another teammate is pregnant and you know we keep having these conversations like you know and we were having this conversation the other day and I told her you know you don’t have to you don’t have to choose if you want to be a mother or you want to be working. Just have to find a way that you’re able to make both work if you’re ambitious if you want to have all of those and I think a lot of those choices men don’t have to have that Discussion. Don’t have to do so I feel like we have to do that extra work or ah push ourselves or have an ecosystem that can help us thrive that way.

37:55.56
reena
And.

38:09.95
charukaarora
So’m just asking that says sense a lot of our experiences are different those experiences um and that can become a way for you to elevate yourself or sometimes it becomes a bottleneck for people to move forward I don’t know if that makes sense.

38:11.82
reena
And.

38:23.13
reena
And I think you answered it yourself right? I Pretty much explained all of it. So It’s good. Yeah I think women are beautiful and they can make. Can create beauty The very fact that they can bear children is itself a miracle that they do they nurture and yes they have many many qualities having said that men also do have.

38:45.22
charukaarora
Um, ah that is yeah yeah yeah.

38:59.37
charukaarora
Yeah, for sure they have their own set of absolute. No.

39:01.10
reena
Many qualities which yeah, yeah, which support the woman which so like I said your team and the team includes not only within your organization. It’s the team that. Makes up the whole ecosystem of art. Ah yeah, and the whole ecosystem of learning art or to its experience art I mean it’s ah when the ecosystem is well connected then I feel the gender does not play our own. Not no.

39:20.66
charukaarora
Absolutely.

39:31.97
charukaarora
Yeah, does not matter fortune. Yeah, we have to I we hope to give reach that there. There’s no question ever like that. But sadly it’s still it’s still something that impacts a lot of people but thank you so much. Thank you so much.

39:38.69
reena
That’s my opinion.

39:43.75
reena
And. And welcome to cho.

39:51.70
charukaarora
1 last question where can people who have want to learn more about the archivera card calary about you like you said you’re not still Instagram convinced but gallery and want to learn more about the work that you do if you have any upcoming projects. Go ahead, tell us.

39:57.56
reena
And yeah, the gall is on Instagram. Okay, yeah, so you can go onto our website. Wwwwwwacardrucar.com. You can see us on follow us on Instagram and on Facebook and you can follow all the programs that we do all the artists that we show we have a lot of international programs to ah like. So our focus is to showcase our artists in international museums which is happening every year we have some exhibition or the other either in France or in Usa or somewhere in the world which we are constantly working towards right now we have an exhibition of Manish Perla at you say these arts is shatric in nice which is a fabulous exhibition have a look at that rest. You can just follow us. We have programs constantly between the two calories yeah

40:50.23
charukaarora
Okay.

41:00.71
charukaarora
Perfect I will make sure that we take all the links c and images from you to link it in the show notes and everybody can you know find all the links at 1 place I really appreciate your time Rena and honesty and a very taantid and real conversation I really like how articulate you’ve also been.

41:04.86
reena
Thank you that a new.

41:13.16
reena
So thank you.

41:20.42
charukaarora
And it’s been a very good discussion honestly. So I really appreciate that. Thank you so much same here. Thank you same same here same yeah, thank you 1 sec one second

41:22.86
reena
Thank you so much. It’s been a pleasure meeting you to Barica and all the best for your projects. Yeah, thank you? But yeah, okay back. Thank.


About the Guest(s):

Reena Lath is the owner of Aadprocard Gallery in India. With a background in hotel management, she transitioned into the art world through her family’s passion for art collecting. Reena Lath has been an integral part of the art community for over 20 years, curating exhibitions and showcasing both modern and contemporary Indian art. Her commitment to promoting artists and building a strong art network has been instrumental in the growth of the gallery.

Episode Summary:

In this engaging episode of the Arts Two Hearts podcast, host Charuka Arora interviews Reena Lath from Aadprocard Gallery. Reena shares her journey from a non-art background into the realm of art curation and gallery management. They delve into topics such as the evolution of the art market, the influence of digital media, the role of young buyers, and the spiritual aspect of art creation. Reena’s insightful perspective sheds light on the intersection of tradition and modernity in the art world.

Key themes include Reena’s early encounters with art, the changing landscape of art collecting, the blending of utilitarian and spiritual elements in Indian art, and the significance of consistent practice for artists. The discussion highlights the importance of passion, dedication, and a deep connection to one’s work in the art industry.

Key Takeaways:

  • Reena Lath emphasizes the importance of consistent practice, dedication, and reverence for one’s work in the journey of an artist.
  • The discussion showcases the unique blend of utilitarian and spiritual elements in traditional Indian art.
  • Reena Lath shares insights on the evolving art market, including the rise of young buyers and the influence of digital media.
  • The episode underscores the significance of teamwork, collaboration, and adaptation in running a successful art gallery.
  • Reena’s narrative reflects the harmonious fusion of tradition and modernity in the world of art.

Notable Quotes:

  • “Art is a way of life and a mode of expression that transcends mere aesthetic value.” Reena Lath
  • “Consistency in practice is the key to success in the art world, regardless of one’s background.” Reena Lath
  • “The art market is constantly evolving, but the fundamental aspects of buying and selling art remain unchanged.” Reena Lath
  • “Young buyers are investing in art not just as a financial asset, but as a cultural symbol and a reflection of their identity.” Reena Lath
  • “The blend of utilitarian and spiritual elements in Indian art forms the foundation of our rich artistic heritage.” Reena Lath

Charuka Arora is the founder of the Arts to Hearts Project and Host of the Arts to Hearts Podcast. She is also an acclaimed Indian artist known for her contemporary embellished paintings. Her unique blend of gouache, collage, embroidery, painting, and drawing explores the intersection of art, culture, heritage, and womanhood. Through her work, she tells stories of female strength and encapsulates them in pieces that can be treasured for generations.

 Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Charuka’s work draws inspiration from Hindu mythology, recognizing women as vessels of Shakti, the cosmic energy. She beautifully portrays powerful goddesses like Durga Maa riding a tiger or lion, symbolizing their unlimited power to protect virtue and combat evil.

Through her art, Charuka invites us into the world of women, showcasing their beauty, strength, and resilience. Her creations not only exhibit exceptional talent but also serve as an inspiration and a symbol of hope for those challenging societal norms.

About Arts to Hearts Project Gallery + Studio

Arts to Hearts Podcast is a show delving into the lives and passions of renowned artists. From running creative businesses and studio art practices to cultivating a successful mindset, Charuka Arora engages in heartfelt conversations with her guests. Experience your personal happy hour with your favorite artists, right in your studio.

Through candid discussions, Charuka and her guests reveal the joys and challenges of a vibrant creative life, both within and beyond our studios. Get ready to be inspired and uplifted as you tune in.

Reena Lath is the owner of Aadprocard Gallery in India. With a background in hotel management, she transitioned into the art world through her family’s passion for art collecting. Reena Lath has been an integral part of the art community for over 20 years, curating exhibitions and showcasing both modern and contemporary Indian art. Her commitment to promoting artists and building a strong art network has been instrumental in the growth of the gallery.

Reena Lath-Embracing Art and Culture in India

In a fascinating conversation with Reena Lath, the owner of Aadprocard Gallery, we delve into the profound relationship between art and culture in India. Reena’s background in art management may not have been conventional, but her journey into the art world is a testament to how passion and dedication can lead to remarkable endeavours. The rich tapestry of Indian artistry, from temples to iconic structures like the Taj Mahal, is deeply ingrained in the country’s cultural fabric. As Reena Lath aptly puts it, art is not just an investment or a commodity in India; it is a way of life. This deep-rooted connection to art as a utilitarian and spiritual practice sets the tone for the distinct approach to art collection and appreciation in the country.

Reena Lath’s insights shed light on how art collectors in India are not merely seeking a financial asset but are embracing art as a means of expressing cultural identity and sophistication. The shift towards valuing art as a symbol of cultural acumen and refinement reflects a broader transformation in how art is perceived and acquired in contemporary Indian society.

The Artistic Journey: Dedication and Devotion

One of the key takeaways from Reena’s discourse is the importance of consistent dedication and spiritual devotion in an artist’s journey. Drawing parallels between the daily practice of rihas in music and the artistic process, Reena Lath underscores the significance of daily devotion to one’s craft. The analogy of everyday sadhana highlights the discipline and commitment required to nurture creativity and evolve as an artist. Artists like S.H. Raza epitomize this ethos through their unwavering dedication to their craft, often starting their creative pursuits with a prayer or invocation to connect with their soul before delving into their work.

The amalgamation of artistic skill and spiritual introspection underscores the profound depth and emotive resonance that art can evoke. By infusing their creative process with spiritual intent and daily practice, artists can transcend artistic boundaries and create works that resonate on a soulful level.

Balancing Tradition and Modernity in the Art World

As the art world continues to evolve, Reena’s experiences offer valuable insights into navigating the intersection of traditional values and modern practices. The digital age has brought about a paradigm shift in how art is showcased and promoted, with social media platforms playing a crucial role in enhancing artists’ visibility and reach. Despite the increasing emphasis on digital presence, Reena’s steadfast focus on prioritizing her artists’ works over personal promotion underscores her commitment to showcasing their talent and creativity.

Collaborating with a young and vibrant team, Reena Lath embraces a culture of learning and experimentation, blending traditional values with contemporary approaches. By harnessing the expertise and innovative ideas of her team, she ensures that the gallery remains at the forefront of the evolving art landscape while staying true to its core values of promoting artistry and cultural heritage.

In conclusion, Reena Lath’s journey as a gallery owner resonates with the essence of nurturing artistry, embodying the timeless values of dedication, spiritual devotion, and a harmonious balance between tradition and modernity. Through her unique perspective, we gain profound insights into the evolving art market and the intrinsic connection between art and culture in India. As we navigate the ever-changing art world, Reena’s wisdom serves as a guiding light, illuminating the path towards a deeper appreciation of art as a reflection of our cultural identity and spiritual essence.

Call For Art: Art and Woman Edition 1-2024-https://submit.artstoheartsproject.com/art-and-woman-call-for-art/

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