Thursday, September 12, 2013
While some of you sip your tea, I sip it with a deep sense of feeling content. Yes, as an artist it always feels nice to connect with another artist’s artwork. I do feel that from time to time......today more so. Lakeer has opened its Impressions, a group show at the Art Loft, above the Volvo showroom on Alexandra road. The Cocktail reception is this evening and the featured artists are, Pramod Kumar, Manoj Sakale, Hema Guha and Ram Chandra. While evenings have become a little difficult to manage, it was also my curiosity that brought me to the show before everyone else. The wall space for the display has the natural daylight and the spotlights letting you imagine how the works of art would feature in your private space as well. While Pramod Kumar’s water colours have a following on their own it was Manjokumar Sakale and Hema Guha’s work that left me very satiated. Ram Chandra’s works were colourful to say the least, and will have a home with the urban home maker who is looking for that right touch of ethnic. Manojkumar’s work is true to himself, its honest heart-felt work and whenever an artist is true to himself it’s not the technique or the skill that you marvel at but it’s the sheer joy to see that he/she has dared to be just that....true. When you see his work you can tell he is a rural raised person trying to trace the urban space or lack of it in the fast changing world. The one painting you will come back with is “Chess” and aerial view of the game and its players. The quiet games of chess the restless patience of the opponent’s move, the happy moment spent playing with a dear one; so many themes all covered in the simple act of chess and then carefully engraved as the metaphor of the endless chess board of life. (see attached image....but please go see the original work as well). Hema Guha, an artist who is now exploring the multimedia has a impressive resume, but more than that what impresses me is her quirky work. She dares to be different. Lakeer has brought in a lot of her woodcut work and the details, in these are amazing. The semi folk observation with figures in sometimes a huddled group patterns, evolve all to tell a story. A story that does not spring upon the viewer but subtly remains on her paper and yet creates a lasting impression be it through the strong colours she uses or the lack of any colour at all in the rest of the sheet. Precision and symmetry are something she makes look simple and childlike and beautifully lasting in the mind’s eye. As an artist I am allowed to be partial but I must tell you that normally though I do not speak much of water colour artists, Pramod Kumar’s Benares series, are a pleasure to watch. There are two especially with their technique that reminded me of Chinese water colour paintings......yes go see it and let me know if you felt the same way. Yes I will go back to my tea while you prepare this evening to go and check out the art over your glass of wine.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
Alpana Vij is an Indian artist and has been based in Singapore since 2004. She has shown her work at various solo and group shows in Singapore. The first time I met her was at an art jam held at a gallery and the work was all to be sold in a silent auction for a cause. I was drawn to her work, as she had this quiet and collected way of working that was intriguing. Soon after I started following her work and I liked these up close and personal portraits that she has presented in her current exhibition, “All The World’s A Stage” happening now at the John Erdos Gallery till the 20th of September. I asked her a little about her collection and this is what Alpana shared with me. “Are we just actors playing a role on the stage of life? Who are we beneath the masks we wear? Painting for me is the search for significance and truth that lies veiled beneath the surface. The search for a place where the true self exists… has always existed. In these large format expressive portraits, through an interplay, of strong light and shadow and a limited palette, I strive to remove all that is extraneous and focus essentially on bringing out the intrinsic character of the subject. And something tells me, that by seeking the true nature of the subjects I paint, I will, in the process, find my own.” While this connection to the primordial feeling of searching the self within the work of art seems to be something we see in so many artists, I specially connected to how she finds a primitive side to her subjects which almost makes them timeless. Yes, primitive and raw with their thick lips and she emphasizes the same with the earthy tones that she has presented them on canvas. She tells me, “These portraits are an attempt at exploring the true nature of the subjects. Through an interplay of strong light and shadow and a limited palette, I strive to remove all that is extraneous and focus essentially on bringing out the intrinsic character of the subject.” She has hugely succeeded in her attempt to do so as the opening night saw a lot of red dots on the wall. This is an artist one must keep their eye on as her sense of style also is alluring thanks to her past of having worked in advertising and design. This graduate from College of Art, New Delhi has now however decided to concentrate on being a full time artist and works extensively at her studio. Catch her exhibition on now at the John Erdos at Dempsey.
Thursday, June 27, 2013
Colors Palette Singapore presents “Collectively Independent” an exhibition that travels from the land of The Masters in Indian art, namely West Bengal. 35 paintings, by 15 artists amongst, which, some of my favorite Bengali artists are also presented. Just to excite you here are the names of some of the artists, Sunil Das, Suhas Roy, Robin Mondal, Chandra Bhattacharya, Aditya Basak and Subrata Gangopadhay to name a few. The works that I shall go down to see again and again are Adityada’s work, Chandra Bhattacharya’s amazing work in acrylic.....which has a lasting effect long after you have walked away from the canvas. I actually walked back a few times and ultimately the exhibitors asked me to sit and enjoy it. Sumantra Mukherjee’s, Separation, a witty and very funky painting with its splash of colors on first glance seems well placed and carefully sought. Five stars to the person who picks this painting for their personal collection....you have to be a person who looks for humor in art to bag this one. Sunil Das and Suhas Roy collectors, there is your pick too. Sanatan Saha’s works are different from the rest of the display and I like that variation. Pretty portraits for all you Debarati Roy fans and two beautiful eye pleasing canvases by Manoj Mitra. In all, great art at ION. It’s traveled and come all the way to Singapore; art lovers please don’t miss this lovely opportunity to see some good art and own it as the prices are modest considering the names. Attached are some of my picks for the show.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Found a little time to do some sketching only for a purpose. Its a little sad that while photography is my latest passion, at the rate I do it, it now ends up keeping me away from my sketch pad. When my literature group from Mumbai,V.G.Vaze College asked me to participate in the Jane Austen Conference celebrating the 200 years of the Pride and The Prejudice, a logo seemed doable the easy and remote yet possible participation for my Alumni. So here is a glimpse of what I cooked up this evening. :D
Friday, June 7, 2013
Guru Kinkar Dhang, an Indian contemporary and modern artist is the topic of my page today. Guru, as I call him, is a very humble and passionate being. At the age of 37 he seems to have found his space not only in the art world but also in his thought process. He hails from West Bengal a state of high creativity. Guru has a B.V.A from Govt. College of Art, Kolkata, India. He has several National and International exhibitions and many more workshops under his belt too. Training however is not the essential reason I got attracted to his art. I was actually drawn to it. I shall carefully explain why. Guru, uses Stream of Consciousness as his method of creation. He became aware much later in his artistic process that he was actually, influenced by Freudian principles. Guru deploys his understanding of the conflict of human persona and society. Here is where it gets hugely interesting and intriguing. His colour handling, of the blending between ego and alter ego, his stylistic presentation of the subconscious ruling the prevalent psyche in society, his personas breaking and fighting with the super consciousness and surrendering to the higher force are all done in his unique layering. The primitive lying latent within the human mind, the beast awaiting its moment of overpowering the prey are expressed with his animal reference. Just as his theme his work is layered too. This I find hugely appealing as while he makes his art visually appealing it also compels you to “think”. He is “depressed agitated and inspired” all at the same time by this modern dilemma of a civilized world which looks back to its primitive past. I will stay tuned to Guru’s work pouring out onto his canvas just like he reveals his formula to “unleash with paint”.
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
In this world of social networking, an artist too, uses it, to their convenience. Yes we have our websites, blogs and of course Facebook to help promote ourselves and our our art. Yet I feel I want take the other step. I want to feature artists in my blog. Yes there are many whose work I could go on and on for hours about. They touch your soul at another level altogether. Some I have seen develop over a period of time. We all have our favorites and some we believe in completely. These people do not need this space at all and I'm not doing this for them. On the contrary I just want to celebrate their creativity and what better way than sharing it here with you. So here's to a new start. Wish me Luck and <3
Yes "Style" that so often used word, especially when it comes to visual art. Have heard gallery owners time and again make that request of replicating one's self in the name of style. So is template art to be replaced with the word "style". This is something I can't do. Just because a formula works, it sells, keep making the same thing as it in demand. So are we to make this a market of demand and supply too. A creative process needs to be free of these.....it is ultimately expression, yes the artists expression......everything is not a "bajaar"(market). Most artists who dared to be different made carved a niche. They got their followers to their art and their expression. Today the ones that are commercial success,(read good investment value)may not be the ones who will represent their time with their art. Most famous ones hardly sold in their lifetime.....so should the artist be that involved in this process of selling?? More importantly should they let the market mongers influence their creative expression.....time to ponder my artist friends.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Person: Hello I'm XYZ, What's your good name? Cheeky Me: I have only one and its Joyotee. ;) P: What do you do? I'm a "dash at dash". Me: Cool, I'm an artist. P's Disclaimer: I don't know much about art. I smile.....now starts the grilling..... Person: So what kind of art.... Me is thinking if you don't know how does it matter!!!! Still I explain...... Next starts the Advice: P: you should approach so and so on who is so and so and knows so and so....(me wants to shout,Dude stop!!! You lost me on the first line.....) I'm so not interested in this conversation. You don't want to know me but you want to know about me..... To know about me check out my blog, my art, Google me. To "know me" stop trying. Just you as you is fine. There is no bad name. I don't care what you do....Most importantly I am doing what I love doing....can you say the same about yourself. That answers my question. So chill, breathe and enjoy life....let me be because I may not be half as successful or famous as you but trust me I'm happy the way I am :D
Saturday, March 2, 2013
Dear all, Its time for announcing my photography exhibition in Singapore. Yes there is one around the corner. I am collaborating with photography artist Smita Barooah Sanyal and in the Red Dot in Mosaic, we have brought together our collective images of various aspects of life as we see it through our lens, in Singapore. Do come and see this unusual take on Singapore as we both have used our differing styles of capturing our Red Dot. Mark your calendars and hope to see you at the Viridian Art House.