Sunday, March 23, 2008

Goan Art on the Internet

From: "Cecil Pinto"
Apr 11, 2003
Goan Art on the Internet

The grand Fontainhas Heritage Festival (archived at ) has
sparked off a renewed interest in Goan Art. Here's a
synopisis of what's available for lovers of Goan Art
on the Internet.

Official Sites

The Goa Tourism website
( has this to say
about Goan Art "Goan art colourfully illustrates the
unity in diversity of Goan heritage. Various art forms
pertaining to different religious beliefs and life
styles have mingled into one unique identity that has
developed into Goan art. Thus we find Hindu artists
chiseling out Christian images in villages and cities.
Goan art, developed around religious requirements,
represents this process of assimilation,
interdependence and mutual acceptability".

The official website of Kala Academy
( says " The changing colors of
history have left their multiple shades on the Goan
life. And folk art has not been an exception to it.
The traditional folk music and dances have continued
uninterruptedly, while the influence of the Portuguese
music and dance on the local culture has helped to
evolve new forms. This happy blending and co-existence
of cultural traditions gives Goa unique character. It
is in this context that the Academy's aims, objects
and activities are directed at fostering and
developing dance, drama, music, literature and other
arts and also promoting through them the cultural

The Goa State Museum is featured at " The museum
at present has the collection of about 8000 objects,
which includes Stone Sculptures, Wooden objects,
Bronzes, Paintings, Manuscripts, numismatic
collection, anthropological objects, clay models,
etc". Many of these objects are viewable at the site
though there is not much descriptive text.

All time greats

"The historical development of Goa has dictated the
predominance of different art forms and the diverse
influence of Greco-Latin art and the indigenous Goan
culture has found a combined _expression in the
paintings of contemporary artists from Goa". has an
interesting profile of two great Goan artists Laxaman
Pai & Francis Newton D'Souza.

"Pai is strongly attached to his environment. He finds
in nature and its creation a perennial source of
inspiration. Goa, its verdant landscapes, its joyful,
fun-loving people, its culture of colorful festivals
have probably spoken through his cheerful carefree
style. He constantly returns to his native land for
symbols of _expression"

"The influence of Goan culture has found its place in
Souza's work in a number of ways. Natives of Goa,
fisherwomen, children, priests have all been subjects
in his paintings. The churches and homes of Goa in his
landscapes. On a different plane, primitive Goan
traditions and beliefs have been used as symbols to
express a spiritual conflict".

A profile of Francis Newton D'Souza by by Joel D'Souza
& Alexyz can be found at
Reminiscences of an interview by Ben Antao with
D'Souza 40 years ago are archived at

Contemporary Art Collectives

The Goan Art Forum - an artist collective, constituted
of artists, art educators and art theoreticians - were
perhaps the first to showcase their works on the Net
( Consisting of some
extremely talented Goan artists, The Goan Art Forum
was very active in the promotion of Goan Art in the
1990's. Unfortunately one doesn't hear much about
their activities now.

Last year Cymroza Art Gallery in Mumbai had an
exhibition of Goan Art.
At one can find small
profiles of the artists who exhibited. Though some
nitpickers may question the 'Goan-ness' of some
of these artists it does have some big names from the
Goan Contemporary Art world - Subodh Kerkar, Harshada
Kerkar, Viraj Naik, Santosh Morajkar, Sonia
Rodrigues Sabharwal, Sajal Sarkar, Chaitali Morajkar,
Pradip Naik, Sonja Weder, Theodore Mariano Mesquita,
Shireen Mody, Liesl Cotta De Souza & Querozito De

The notably well designed features
interesting profiles and works of many noteworthy Goan
artists who have exhibited in the ArtHouse India
gallery at Calangute. "The concept is kept very
simple: the exhibits are contemporary art...
paintings, drawings, art photography, video art,
installations and sculptures, mainly by Indian

Individual pages

Mario Miranda has been profiled by Wellington Dias at Mario
Miranda, in my opinion, is a living legend and needs
no introduction from me. One only wishes he would have
a website of his own where we could all appreciate his
genius. As in the print media, Mario's cartoons have
been used to embellish many websites but rarely with
his official permission. I spoke with Mario on the
phone and he too expressed his dismay at people who
use his works to illustrate advertisements, menus,
restaurant interiors, whatever - without so much as
asking his permission or even giving him due credit.

Swiss born, Goa based artists Sonja Weder and Thomas
Schnider, have their 'art objects' and paintings on
display at Sonja & Thomas have been
part of the art scene in Goa for many years now, ever
since they made their home here in 1990. The site is
pleasant to browse and even has a nifty feature where
one can use one of the pictures to create and send a
e-postcard to a friend.

Dr Subodh Kerkar gave up medicine to dedicate himself
to visual art. From his delightful cartoons in the
1980s, to sculpture, terrecotta & painting in various
media - and international exhibitions, Subodh has done
it all. His Kerkar Art Complex is featured at

The tremendously talented husband-wife artist team of
Querozito and Leisel De Souza have recently set up
their own website at
"Querozito De Souza's works recall an immediate
reconciliation with the mythological plane, on the one
hand and on the other, allude to introject and
associate with the real " - whatever that means.
Leisel's 'paintings in thread' are a uniquely
different art form that has many admirers. The
D'Souzas' otherwise beautiful art sense has not
translated well in the website design and it could do
with a full revamp.

By far, the most comprehensive website on Goan Art is A well designed interface allows one
to browse through artists residing in Goa and abroad.
In addition to a generous sampling of works by each
artist there are interesting articles on Goan art by
Om Prakash, Theodore Mesquita and others. The site has
been promoted by Rudolf and Yolanda Kammermeier,
(Art Chamber, Galeria de Bellas Artes), primarily for
the exposure of Goan art and artists world wide
through the Internet.

An introduction and plan of activities at reads:

"In times gone by the aspiring Goan artists had to
leave this inspiring land for greener pastures
elsewhere. Names like F. N. Sousa, Laxman Pai,
Prafula Dhanukar, Mario Miranda immediately come to
mind as some of those who carved a niche for
themselves and are household names in the art scene
of modern Indian paintings. Art awareness in Goa has
grown tremendously since; much credit for this should
go for the Art College, set up some 25 years ago."

"Relatively new therefore in this big competitive
world of survival of the fittest, the young Goan
artist has come up trumps with significant works.
Goa today is slowly but surely emerging as a busy art
centre - attracting both, the artist and the art

"This site is not only intended to be an on-line
Gallery, but an instrument of art education and
communication in its wider sense and will be featuring
also articles on art and artists."

" The forthcoming activities will be
1) Widening the spectrum of talented artists
2) Showcasing fresh talent from Goa
3) Maintain and update the artists' portfolios
4) Publishing reviews/art critics of contemporary art
5) Featuring special events or exhibitions; book
releases with relevance to painting or drawing
6) Featuring special artists who stand in connection
to Goa "


ArtNOW (curated by artist Rajan Fulari) is a
subsection of Joel D'Souza's
monthly webzine GoaNOW. Though not a monthly feature,
when it does appear it has many interesting articles
and pictures on Goan Art (eg. It
must be mentioned though that GoaNOW has a extremely
large archive of features on Goan art.
In fact Joel's coverage of the Fontainhas Festival is
far superior to the official website - which has not
been updated since before the festival began.

Querozito de Souza organized the International
Sculptors Symposium at Surla, Goa in December 2001. A
webpage dedicated to this event is available


WEBQUEST is my monthly column in Goa Today magazine.
This article appeared in the April 2003 issue. Each
month I intend researching and reporting (in
my WebQuest column) on Goa related people and issues
on the Internet.
Suggestions and feedback will be much appreciated.

Please forward this to any Goan you think might be
interested. And remember to buy a printed copy of Goa
Today to read about matters related to Goa and Goans.

Cecil Pinto

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