Artists can give a go for The Skoda Prize

“India is home to many a talented artist but the irony is that an artist is very rarely recognised in his own country,” says art critic and well-known writer Girish Shahane, head of the advisory committee of The Skoda Prize for Indian Contemporary Art.

After the success of The Skoda Prize last year, Skoda Auto India and Seventy Event Media Group have come together again to announce the second edition of the award.

“Awards are integral in every discipline and this prize is the first of its kind to felicitate Indian artists under the age of 45,” Shahane says. “The Skoda Prize will be an annual celebration of recognition of outstanding work in contemporary art in the country. Each artist will be judged on the exhibitions, or other presentations of their body of work produced in the 12 months preceding the award.”

Last year, there were 169 entries from across the country and Girish is certain that the response would be even better this year. “The application process has been considerably simplified and this being the second year, more artists are aware of the existence of the award.”

About the parameters by which the artists would be judged, Girish says: “We would be keenly looking at innovative ideas, creative use of techniques and material and the work should have an interesting concept underlying it.” Explaining the process, Girish says: “The top 20 shortlisted artists will be featured in the Skoda Prize Catalogue and the artworks of the final three artists will be exhibited. An international juror will come down to India for the shortlist and for the final selection. The Skoda Prize patron Pro Helvetia – Swiss Arts Council will offer a four-week residency each in Switzerland to the two runners-up. The winner will be announced in January 2012 and awarded Rs.10, 00,000.”

Art being a form of self expression cannot be judged objectively, but Girish points out that the jury (comprising Karan Nadar, Vivan Sundaram and Pooja Sood) is independent and impartial. “Their eye is trained to recognise the beauty of art.”For more details log onto http://www.theskodaprize .com/