Navin Thomas walked away with the prestigious 2011 Skoda Prize for Indian contemporary art
Bengaluru has always been quietly supplying the art fraternity with extraordinary crop of artists. It could be linked to the fact that unlike Delhi and Mumbai, the city places more thrust on artists' led initiatives and less on gallery business. Apart from many other Bengaluru-based artists, who are being applauded and acknowledged for their unique visual vocabulary, there is Navin Thomas, who has bagged this year's Skoda Prize.
Beside him, the other two shortlisted artists were Jitish Kallat and L.N. Tallur but finally Navin got it for his exhibition, “From the Town's End”. He was presented a trophy and a cheque of Rs.10, 00,000 by the famous British artist Marc Quinn, who was in town to participate at the India Art Fair.
The Skoda Prize is an annual award with the objective of rewarding outstanding work in India contemporary art. This year, another category of ‘The Breakthrough Artist Award' was added to it which was bagged by Madhuban Mitra and Manas Bhattacharya.
The jury comprised Kiran Nadar of Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, artist Vivan Sundaram, Pooja Sood, Director of Khoj International Artists Association, Heike Munder, Director of the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich and Martin Clark, Artist Director of Tate St Ives.
On the process of making his art, Navin said, “There are a couple of things which I have been preoccupied with over the last few years — beta- testing on the possible after life of salvaged electronic junk, mostly discarded transistors and smaller objects, with a possible audio capacity. I love to observe how pets and smaller species react to magnetic fields.”