The opening of Kalinka is an ambitious project… Can you explain it in a few words?
Kalinka is a modern and contemporary art gallery. I’m showing Indian artists as well as European to allow their different worlds to meet, in a cross cultural approach. As far as exhibitions are concerned, they will be mostly about painting, like “4 Ways” which happens right now, but I will also show photographs and sculpture.
What does “Kalinka” mean?
Actually it has been my nickname since I’m a kid. My stepmother could speak Russian… I’ve always liked the sound of it.
Why did you choose Pondicherry to set your gallery up?
I came here for the first time 6 years ago, during a 3 months trip in Tamil Nadu, and I really had a crush for this city. I promised myself that one day, I would settle here… I didn’t know how and when, but it’d mean a lot to me. I come to Pondicherry regularly since then. It’s a small town, much quieter than most of Indian cities, by the sea… I’m also very sensitive to the proximity with Auroville, to the historical and spiritual atmosphere of Pondicherry, with Sri Aurobindo’s and the Mother’s philosophy influence.
Please tell us about your career. How did you come to the art industry?
I was a lawyer in Paris, but I have always lived among artists: my mother was a painter. I grew up among oil paints and turpentine’s smells… My mother took me to many exhibitions, and she gave me her passion for art. Since I’ve quitted my job, I wanted to go back to the art world: I wrote short stories about painting, I took classes at the Ateliers Beaux-arts de la ville de Paris, I worked for an artists’ union, in a tourist information office… Opening a gallery allows me to gather all my different aspirations and to use all what I’ve learned from those experiences, to serve the artists.
Can you tell us more about the exhibition that is taking place in Kalinka gallery right now?
The exhibition’s name is “4 Ways”, it is going to last 2 months and it gathers works from 4 different women artists I really admire: Kirti Chandak, Céleste Bollack, Catherine Lescure, and Nadée. Kirti is Indian, Céleste, Catherine and Nadée are French. What I like most about those artists is that each of them has her own world, with a real pictorial identity. They don’t try to do what works, what is fashionable: they have their own singularity. Their work is extremely intimate, and there craftsmanship is easily recognizable when you know them a little.
Do you already know what you will propose after?
Yes, the gallery should never remain empty. The following exhibition starting August 1st will show the work of an Aurovillian photographer who does an amazing work on light.
To be continued then…