Passion is defined as a feeling of intense enthusiasm towards something!
Meghna Mehta Chhabria is living up to this definition. If not passion what could be the reason for a Business Management student with fifteen years of experience in Financial Services to quit her profession and join her father in promoting emerging Indian artists? Meghna had a successful career working for organizations such as JPMorgan, ING Investment Management and IDBI Bank, however, she felt something was missing.
Having spent countless weekends at her father, Deepak Mehta’s Art Gallery – Moksh, she had the opportunity to interact with various artists, engage with their works and hear first-hand about their inspiration & struggles.
Meghna longed to make an impact and always knew she had to be a part of Moksh’s journey. In 2016, she finally took the plunge and quit her job to join her father at Moksh.
Meghna was naturally drawn to the world of art and credits her farther for the same. Prior to founding Moksh in 2007, Deepak had spent three decades operating out of Kala Ghoda area in Mumbai and witnessed first-hand its blossoming into Mumbai’s premier art district.
His appreciation for art was born out of engaging conversations with artists and curators at art shows he frequented during this time. As an amateur buyer Deepak realised that the market primarily catered to the affluent and there was a dearth of credible platforms promoting affordable art by emerging artists leading to the founding of Moksh.
Today, the gallery represents over 50 artists, both up and coming as well as established ones and is constantly striving to add diverse voices to its repertoire. It showcases a variety of artworks created using media such as acrylic, oil, charcoal, colour pencil and ink. Over the years Moksh has delivered on its promise and widened its audience to include both new buyers as well as seasoned collectors.
Meghna fondly recounts the journey of artist Shashikant Dhotre who was launched by Moksh back in 2008. Born to a mason father Shashikant had to face several hardships. He was forced to drop out of Sir JJ School of Art as he did not have the means to continue funding his education. This also meant he was unable to afford expensive art materials and started creating works with humble tools like pencil and paper (which today is his signature style). She tells us “Very early on we were able to recognise his potential, support his work and showcase his paintings to the right audience. We are extremely proud that today he has gone on to become one of India’s leading colour pencil artists”. Shashikant captures life-like images of rural women and their ‘day in a life’ and very often his paintings are mistaken for photographs, a testament to his attention to detail and unique talent.
Though the gallery had been going from strength to strength, Meghna firmly believed that a strong digital presence was the need of the hour. With the onset of the pandemic, this need was even more pronounced and she set out to create an immersive end-to-end experience for the consumer through a completely revamped e-commerce website. Meghna also curated a wider variety of art, across price points, to truly represent what Moksh stands for. Meghna recognises that art isn’t just about the work but also the inspiration behind it and with that in mind, she introduced an ‘Artists’ section on the website to share these insights.
Staying true to its commitment to support emerging artists, Moksh introduced ten new artists over the last three months and pledges to continue to do so. It is also about to launch a new product vertical promoting Indian handicrafts in an endeavour to uplift skilful artisans from South India.
Meghna tells us “Without art this world would be a dull and soulless place. Art can change a person’s outlook and the way he/she experiences the world”. She hopes that individuals begin to recognize the powerful contribution art can make to their health and wellbeing. Meghna states, “there is already a growing body of evidence demonstrating that art enhances the brain function and can raise serotonin levels”.
An avid traveller and a yoga enthusiast, Meghna believes “passion is listening to your inner voice and doing what you love” and each day she is thankful that Moksh allows her to do just that!