Friday, 6 March 2015

It is not possible to categorize him as a particular kind of artist. He is a painter, sculptor, and visual artist but art treasure in himself. He is Raj Bhandare

How does one recognize an artist among the crowd? A serene, observant, man of few words and always contemplative? Yes, these are some of the traits that we jot in character of an artist. But I was introduced to the most unique personality who is not only a visual artist but art treasure in himself. He is Raj Bhandare, a multi talented artist from Goa. Raj holds Masters Degree in Architecture, but is more inclined toward creativity in visual form, be it 2D or 3D.

Goa is the treasure house of art and acculration. It is one of the finest global state that shared Indian art, culture and tradition and even technology of Americans, Africans, other Asians and Europeans. and effortlessly blended Western and Portugal culture in it. In fact other than art and culture Goa had first type print press. In modern times, artist like Raj Bhandare, prove themselves global citizens and spread awareness of Indian art through their work. 

There is lot of space and perfect aura to develop spirituality in Goa. One cannot ignore Raj’s spiritual excellence He has a pleasing  personality and spread positive vibrations that inculcates and develops optimism, hope spirituality and love. His work is his reflection, blissful nature peeps through his work. He believes in the fact that every individual craves for joy and peace, but to attain divinity one needs to have self control over the mortal desires. His persona reflects the vibrancy of contentment and bliss.
Raj Bhandare with his recent work -2015- Bangalore City

It is not possible to categorize him as a particular kind of artist. He is a painter, sculptor, and cartoonist brimming with a lot of humor and satire, artist with taste for good music, penchant for ethnicity. Generally a painter is categorized as figurative, abstract, realistic or other.  Although Raj started figurative painting at an early age, he moved on to abstraction. He works in mediums like oil, acrylic, charcoal, burnt wood, steel etc. He has had many successful solo and group shows in India and abroad.

He is greatly influenced by art and artist of India. He is truly Indian at heart. While speaking of paintings and Indian painter’s influence on the artist’s work, F,N,Souza seems to be a great influence. Souza had much command on female form and there is recurring theme of Christianity in his paintings. He disapproved the hypocrisy of church and religion. His paintings were modern, rebellious in nature and far from being acceptable. Raj too seems to propose true spirituality. His painting also reveal the fact that world is comprised of only two factors men and woman and even the religious aspect revolves and involved only sexes.

His video on work at the  Dayanand Sagar Academy Bangalore on the Concept of Rubanization (Urbanization, altered spelling conveying right meaning), the reverse osmosis to Development makes us realize that there is only one land wherever you go. Development is possible only when every strata of the society go hand in hand. Trust and hope of improving society is not expressed vocally, silence speaks and common thought of melioration binds the society. These are some shades of his painterly spirit.
  Installation is a tribute to late M.F.Hussain.‘Moments of Silence’ by Raj Bhandare- 2011

‘Moments of Silence’, one of the latest installation is a tribute to late M.F.Hussain. The artist call him a teacher who inspired and will continue inspiring the artist who learns from his dedication, passion and preservence. The installation is named Moments of Silence because a lot can be spoken about Hussain’s creativity, his introduction of Indian layman to art world, being a global artists Indianized style of painting, his golden contribution in Progressive artist group and so on but as it is a known fact that Hussain did not get justice in his own country, still he continued his art dedicatedly. Raj pays tribute to this spirit of never loser attitude and passion. Installation conveys emotional bonding of every artist who loves Hussain. The evening time on beach, the lighted installation with darkness around and silently burning candles add to the emotional high. One cannot stop from entering Hussain’s memory lane.   
‘Moments of Silence’ by Raj Bhandare- 2011
Raj loves to travel. He learns from every nook and corner of the world. Every place inspires his creation. In one of the observations he found that institution of religion is universal in nature, however, not at all uniform. It is the reality of all the societies, past and present. Religious dogmas have influenced and conditioned economic activities, political movements, social behavior and educational system. To present this diversity, he has used Linga in various makeovers. This is a series of line drawing, where Linga is being sketched in variation and represents different social circumstances, according to the psyche of a particular community, race or country.
Portraitists  by Raj Bhandare- 2010

The artist is also gifted with wit and humor. He has command over different languages and uses them wittily to convey his message. Completely moved by death of cartoonist R.K.Laxman, Raj dedicated cartoons involving paronomasia, to the late cartoonist using his intelligence and social awareness.

His effort in social awareness is recognized and he was awarded the National Karmaveer Citation for his role in creating awareness on social issues, as an emerging global Indian. He continues to address social issues through his art. Here it would be apt to apply anthropologist Ritu Gairola Khanduri’s analysis of R.K.Laxman’s Common Man to Raj’s nature: Common Man is no dupe: his sharp observations miss no detail of the political circus. He is a silent witness to all actions that have duality and various reactions to the same.It is obvious that Raj Bhandare will continue his probe and keep on expressing through his art.

Interview: by Pankaja JK

It was yet again a fun and confrontation with intelligentsia while interviewing ARTIST Raj Bhandare. An artist perfectly aware of power of Self, has his own take on his expressions and opinion about the art world. The interview was conducted after his tribute to M.F.Hussain ‘Moments of Silence’ where we got to experience sensitive and insightful nature of the artist.:

Artist Raj Bhandare

Hello Raj...Pankaja Calling you...

1.Gobalization is not a novel concept, so what is so special about it in today’s era??
“Localization is the new Globalization, the world and its perception has been reduced to accessing the internet, this is the new World, and a new world order.The “Ethernet” has made“local the new global”. But from an Artistic perspective it’s not the networking that’s attracts, it’s the “connect” that attracts. The soul connect to share universal love, it’s this elements of connectivity that intrigues the soul to search, reach, and share. This aspects of globalization and the power to connect that makes sharing such a far reaching and enriching experience “The food for the Soul”, a journey worth exploring through this new medium to reach the global audience. It is connectivitythat’s truly made local the New Global and vice versa.

2.Which Art Form do you enjoy?
Art is formless, as an idea, its intangible and mystic. The Artist digs into the medium to manifest those ideas into form, for self-satisfaction and gratification, it need not be a particular art form, butthe form is dictated by the demands of those concepts and the best medium suited to explore those concepts. In most of the so called art the “F” is silent, andas in fart there is no form it’s either a big bang or stink……. Fart is in a way is a metaphor for good and bad art. But to be specific, I enjoy the “Line Drawing” as there is the simplicity and well as the complexities in that simple line, it’s the simplest of the form, but one of the most challenging in its attempt to share experience that the my art attempts.

3.Who are your Inspirations?
Inspiration is that Bird that fly’s out from the Cuckoo’s nest.There is a notional connect with the context, hence inspiration is independent of influence, and influence is the net cumulative summation of the artist state of mind. If the art produced has to have its soul it’s in the conception of the idea, and that’s always a Divine intervention.Personally I am influenced deeply by India and its rich culture the level of abstraction in its culture is so deep that even the veneer of abstractions in its mythology and its depiction is is not enough to explore in one life span.
More upcoming Project- Goa Sea side View, by Raj Bhandare

4.Highlight your Artistic Expression/ style.
Style of artistic expression? It’s a question that I seek to know every time I attempt to do as to when, why, how, to do?? This is that “kida” the virus in every artistic pursuit, that the soul in the artist seek to explore and does it through the ritual of explorations experimentations, meditations, Investigations, etc.
Drawing on Dry Series Object by Raj Bhandare-  1-3-2015

5. Goa has given us some of the best and renowned artists like V S Gaitonde, F N Souza. So you see yourself in their line of being a Contemporary artist?
I believe in my art and whatever I do, I start with an advantage of not going to an Art School so in a way I was shielded, protected from all the so called movements and renaissance in  art. The western nomenclature of defining art. It’s like the Pope declaring Mr. So and so is a Saint now why should Mr. so and so say “this is Art” and “this is Fart”?? The question is then why?? Why this discrepancy and racism, within the fraternity by the sugar quoted commercial aspect of salability of works and Branding of Artist. To be more specific, after the death of Picasso, Hussain, Souza, the world is wanting more and nothing stops me to explore and fill that vacuum and opportunity..

Raj Bhandare studio Goa- 2005
6. Why has Goa always been a land of Art?
Goa is a DevBhoomi, It’s the “Blessed land”. Mythology says Purshuram, reclaimed Goa from the sea, so in a way Goa is pregnant with its energies of Divine vibes and one can feel it  moment one lands in Goa. “Its love at first sight” “its lust at first sight too” it’s this combination that propels the mind, body, soul into an orbit that’s filled with good feelings and creativity.

Hoping for another interesting interview soon… bye 

Life Portfolio by Pankaja JK -2015

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Thanks for comment JK