Monday 10 September 2012

Latest Interview of Tathi Premchand -United Art Fair, Digital works with recent art movement- JK

Art has come a long way from being just a matter of passion and entered a commercial avenue with global exposure. United Art Fair includes established and upcoming talents who paint, sculpt and create installations. There are nearly more than 550 artists selected from all over the world to showcase their work.

Annurag Sharma
, Director of UAF is successful in providing opportunity to discover the value and diversity of art. Annurag Sharma promotes a wonderful interaction between artists and patrons providing superb experience to both, the art-lover and creator.

Tathi Premchand  compete painter, digital artist still on high note in Mumbai art, who work in different mediums other than in typical traditional style of using colors on canvas. It always interests me to watch work in group show rather than individual shows, so even this Fair is going to be a fascinating one. I had the opportunity to visit Tathi Premchand  artist in their studios and see the process of their creation and how the final outcome takes place through their creative process. Following paragraphs are addressed to their works with illumination on them in their own words.

Tathi Premchand on his Digital Art. He is chatty, cheerful and always brimming with eagerness to know and tell about anything novel that he comes across. His enthusiasm to probe and explore innovative techniques can be felt through his talks and his communication via social networking sites. His belief in progressive and innovative art can be seen throughout his journey of growing as a painter. Some of his latest works are the perfect examples of his penchant for technological advancement in field of painting art. He now works on Digital Art. His work seems quiet rebellious and society concerned. His sensitivity towards society makes his work more appreciable and considerate. I guess he finds romanticism in simple joys and sorrows of people. To know more about Tathi’s work I asked him a few questions to which he readily answered with firm determination.

Q: What appealed you to plunge into Digital art?
TP: Basically I am always attracted towards innovation. Technology is a perfect area of introducing new methods of working. Computers and software have advantage over manual work. I choose to go Digital as it gives me the desired effect of sorting and placing the images. Very often I click photographs in the local train. Through one of the graphics software, I develop three more images of the same photograph but in three reverse directions – one just 180 degrees upside down, one 90 degree turn to left and the third one is 180 degree reverse of the last one. Most of my artworks are four dimension extensions of a digital photography. Some viewer feel, it look like Mandala, river image, kaleidoscope, and this art form is very old art in India; you can see these  things in Buddhism  and Hindu temples in form of mural art and God's paintings. My Dhobi Ghat series has similar digital artworks with bright colors omnipresent along with pure white color on clothesline, well arranged and left on strings. The gushing water, slogging washer men, heap of dirty and clean clothes together represent a mini image of a society that we live in.This unusual place of muse speaks volumes about society itself, right from ancient times to modern day. Briefly, washer men for dirty linings…anyone to cleanse the soul? This placid place with bustling activities and philosophical values be with us forever.

Q: What is the subject line of your Digital creation?
TP: I do not define boundaries of subject line. All my traditional style of work in paints and pastels on canvas and the latest Digital art are based on my observation of daily life of people around me. I stay in Mumbai which is a perfect place to find street dwellers as well as mansion owners. I try to portray them in my work exposing the critical part of it and the role it plays in forming the society. For example a street child enjoying showers from the cracked water pipeline or a public laundry at Mahalakshmi or perished textile mills and high rises right in front of these mills, the textile mills which were important earning source of commoners in Mumbai, these and such topics are subjects of my Digital Art.

Q: Your work sensitizes the topic and seems to be a thoughtful process and I personally feel that they would represent the history of our times after a century.
TP: It is fine that you feel so. But I create because I am sensitive towards societal issues. I like to paint social issues and make a critical statement through my work. But it is not always a seriousness that I capture but lighter moments too. With times, lifestyle, infrastructure of the society and more over behavior and outlook have changed, I try to showcase that change- either good or bad or say, two sides of the same coin.

Q Sketchbook or Facebook? Do you use one? What type.
TP: Yes, I use both facebook and Sketchbooknow-a- days I sketch a lot, but all digitally. I am learning to draw on paper similar images in rotated angle.

Q: Why do you vote for blog for displaying you work?

TP: Blogs are advanced medium of communication. Social networking sites give me large exposure to art lovers and art buyers all over the world. Analysis done by people in the form of comments and reviews inspire me. I do not have limitation of displaying my work. I can upload any and every kind of work that I want world to see. I have nearly more than twelve blogs and all my life's creations are online. Day or night any one who love art, be him or her  if from Afghanistan or Chile all are welcome to view them. More then twenty thousand viewers have viewed my blog till date. I am at my leisure without adherence to anyone’s terms and conditions to upload or remove images from my blogs. Gallery is good for exhibition to see live work and interact face to face. But for me, blogging is a good exercise before doing the best show in gallery, so are these social networking sites with their pros and cons, at least at present and the world is changing as one global village- it may tum of good or bad.

Q Do you think there is commercial art and serious art.
No way,if any other then fine artist doing painting in India artist treat like untouchable or criminals, this is stupid art cultural in my country, Tribal Art is pure form art, Tribal painter not inspire by other any artist, but lots Pablo Picasso, Paul Klee you will find India even lots V S Gaitonde in Mumbai,  for me real art is what artist paints, that is art. For me every art is beautiful and meaningful, those artist who think only abstract painting is a serious art, then they should please type name in Google search "Andy Warhol". I want say... In Art there is no development, it always vanishes and new one comes up.

Q Tell me more about up coming show and further plan.
TP: I have my 3 series in limelight for present, they are: Indian Dhobi Ghat, Chip hanger body, India's Koodafication on Moon. These digitals will go to Milan, Cuneo, Dhaka and Aakriti art gallery Kolkata, Future is unpredictable. But surely I will stick to my passion of painting and my visual art. As I like progressive things I might adopt new technology while working on Digital. I like to flow with current to discover new paths and new destinations, I am planning do some work called Public Art near my studio at Bolinj village on Rajawadi sea-side beach.

New 3digital series by Tathi Premchand

Q Do you go to watch shows in gallery? Which are your favorite modern and contemporary artists?
TB: N0,mostly I do not go to galleries,,but log them on blog or Facebook online only.
2005 to 2008 mostly my artworks browse and sold  on saffronart gallery online only, so i am very family-er for online mostly and I do not discriminate as modern  and contemporary; For me all are equal. My favorite artists are  Manjit Bawa, Rameshwar Broota, Raghu Roy, Vivek Vilasini and my self.

Q Do you watch movies,which is you favorite movie and why ?
TP:Yes, Gangs of Wasseypur 1-2, way of thinking, its a truth; real life in India. It is the first time in India to give larger view of reality in movie.

Q Delhi or Mumbai?  
TP: I am first an Indian, world is a studio, all cities are like my home.

Q Last Question, which is favorite new upcoming
and promising artist, any message to new upcoming art student.
TP: Hmm upcoming Devan Bane and promising artist R B Holle,
Message to new upcoming art student, Please do not try to find any Guru, look in the mirror you are your own guide. Guru kills you...

Q Thanks for sharing your views, will again visit your blog soon.
TP: Always welcome, I am a blog;  every day something new, you can visit even now. Thanks. 

As told to Pankaja JK, Freelancer art writer, Critic some time, mostly she write on blog only, I want save tree.....14/8/2012

Sunday 9 September 2012

Oh Letters! You pose straight and stern....

Oh Letters! You pose straight and stern,

Gracefully twist and turn, 

You seem to sing and dance …

Be contemplative and in trance  

Amazing is your persona that charms me 

And make me think of you at every blink…

(Artist Sugo)
Above lines summarize the art of artist SUGO, as he is commonly known in art circle. For him Calligraphy is a captivating Art for several reasons, the common factor of calligraphy all over the world is that, of giving meaning, feeling and expression to letters. Letters are wonder invention…they form words, sentences and we think in words, we contemplate in silence…but again silence have  thoughts and thoughts are in letters (words and sentences). SUGO’s latest exhibition named Knyatavya (easy to understand), portraying Devanagri script and Hindu motifs or mantras. These eye catching series’ clearly presents his inclination towards spirituality and deliberation on munificence of Hinduism. 
Most calligraphers spread message of the particular culture, love and peace through their calligraphy.  Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, East Asia, Asia et al. has a common thread of message of humanity and moving away from destruction and violence. SUGO has signified this by having a dialogue through Indian Devanagri language and motifs, thus trying to make Indian (Hindu) Calligraphy a global phenomenon.  He makes the world aware of profound impact of motifs like ‘Aum’, ‘Swastik’ and ‘Rhim- rham on body and soul. He not only deliberates on sound but visually creates a meditative aura by using colors proposing mysticism and feeling of self awakening

 Along with the spiritual communion in ‘Mantra’ series, in the series named ‘Akshara’ SUGO reveals the beauty of Devanagri script. The letters seem personified, have body language and have momentum and they twist and turn gracefully. If they are contemplated with closed eyes it seems to have rhythm; music, poetic appeal. Some letters seem to swiftly float, feel light as feathers. This might be the reflection of SUGO’s mind, of breaking away from practical existence and moving away from stress and burden into tranquility. He has symbolically linked letters with every minute element that creator Lord Brahma (In Hinduism Lord Brahma is said to be the creator of this universe) amalgamated together to create this universe.  Nature or universe is made of animate and inanimate objects; varying from micro to macro sizes and shapes and united they create a beautiful universe. Likewise, the letters in his paintings are the part of larger forms like, words and sentences. When letters are united in smaller groups they make a word; and word gives meaning to thoughts and so in the process language is born.   is like presenting the theory of evolution through letters.  

I was convinced about SUGO’s dedication to his art by his response to the question of ‘readymade calligraphy’ being made easily available on computer. When questioned about easy access to calligraphic fonts and saving time and efforts of creating it manually for various occasions, he confidently replied that it is a fact that technology has advanced and computer has made things easy and enables access to most difficult art, like Calligraphy; but for him calligraphy is not just writing artistically, but it is a matter of profound dedication and purity of thoughts that go into creation of each and every letter. He opines that Calligraphy will always have secured place in Art, despite of technological progress. 

I think his subject is unique because ‘Hinduism’ is confined to India; it can be called Indian religion. SUGO tries to introduce it to the world. It is not only about spirituality but has the power to balance and compose our mind and body. It reveals the mysteries of this Universe of how, why and who created it. It is a great pleasure to watch these paintings live and get enlightened. 
As reviewed by Pankaja JK. Art writer.

Tagged cube of Metro- by Pankaja JK

(Young artist Umakant Tawde)
Umakant Tawde moved to Mumbai city for professional development, now he lives and works in Mumbai. He commutes between South Mumbai (which is a commercial centre in Mumbai with many corporate offices located there and also have elite societies along with middle-class and poor ones) and western suburbs. This gives him the opportunity to observe the busy life of Mumbai, meet people of varied personalities and face the incidents and events. These experiences are captured I his latest series of paintings and thoroughly deals with magic spell of Mumbai created by mix culture, harmony between different class, caste and level of people. Its patience peace, love, care, unity and resilience in any and every circumstance; will to survive and face the struggle for living boldly. The series is the visual presentation of his personal experiences of Mumbai. His technique of oils on canvas symbolizes the amalgamation between contemporary city dwelling and traditional structure. One of his paintings, which has a folk woman artist with black and white images of shanties in background, is a deeper insight into the worse condition of living adopted by a villager due to dislocation. 

His earlier works reflected spirituality and serenity, as he painted images of Lord Buddha. I think his transition from that kind of work to painting trials and turbulences of urban life is a deliberate attempt to show how a common man would deal patiently face the trials of life without living the world in search of peace.  He shows how people adopt and practice meditation and concentration even in hustle-bustle of busy life. In the ‘Balancing Act’, a woman walking on the rope tied high with the help of bamboo balances herself smartly with a wrinkle of tension on her face. Her calmness and serenity is the example of practical application of concentration and she does this to earn livelihood; to meet her survival need. Umakant reflects by using darker hues on lighter background highlighting every gesture of the woman. 
(working on new series by Umakant Tawde)
 ‘Optimism’ is omnipresent throughout the series, in every image of toiling person. This attitude is found in people from lower strata of professional order, with no great achievements and adventures associated with them and dark future.  But their spirit of patience, efforts to be self dependent and hard working zeal is no less compared to great achievers. He shows that no matter what social status or background people come from, Mumbai city is always ready to welcome and shelter their hopes and dreams. 

Hunger is the base of every action. It makes one dance to its tune and every decision is aimed at fulfilling it. So there is desperate search for food or means of earning to buy food leading to dislocation due to poverty, unemployment and blank future l; of living life even in most awful condition and great struggle. Hunger is clearly indicated in painting of tiffinbox (painting is itself named as ‘’Hunger’) which represents food and the condition of people in search of food can be contemplated through every image in the series. 

Mumbai has blend of cultures and interestingly some of the fast vanishing folk art is still nurtured and admired in this city. Like many others folk artist from rural area migrate here to  obtain opportunity to earn; if not through modern means, then at least by displaying their talent and art and it is very interesting that modern Mumbai cherishes these talents in right spirit.  Paintings like ‘Tradition v/s trade-intension’ and ‘Balancing Act’, shows how the folk art of singing and sports is admired and still find its existence in Mumbai. In ‘Balancing Act’, a lady walking on a rope tide high with the help of bamboos.  This is a profession of people belonging to ‘Acrobat’ community. A poor flute seller boy, who plays a mesmerizing tune and the flute seller’s tune, has magical effect on people and it provides happiness to tired and restless busy souls of Mumbai. So it is not necessary to buy spare time and huge amount for pleasure and entertainment and buy concert tickets; if one wished, one tends to find it on the roads of Mumbai. These talented souls have to struggle hard to exist, but their struggle becomes bearable in Mumbai city where we do have people giving them attention. This caring nature is a virtuous side of Mumbai which is one aspect captured in this series; inspires him to paint.

(working on new series by Umakant Tawde)
Artist meticulously scans ‘Struggle’ and observes that, not only human beings, but even animals cannot escape Struggle. Even they have to work hard for bread and butter. Over all, life is all about facing the problems, risks and poverty with bravery and patience.  According to Umakant life has become ‘Circus’ where everyone has to participate in risk taking act for food, cloth and shelter. The simple images in artworks present the larger idea. I personally infer these artworks with animal images as symbolic and guess that here artist intends to compare human life to that of animals. Human beings slog like animals, life is like a circus full of risk and apprehension. One has to be very confident in every difficult circumstance to face it boldly. This is the result of poverty, and lack of future in villages that people are pulled towards city.-

 Pankaja JK

Friday 7 September 2012

ARTIST SUGO - Subhash Gondhale KNYATAVYA (Easy to understand) by Pankaja JK

 ARTIST SUGO - Subhash Gondhale ..recent interview by JK

KNYATAVYA (Easy to understand)

I had the opportunity to meet Calligraphy artist Subhash Gondhale (SUGO) before exhibition of his latest series called Knyatavya (easy to understand). This exhibition includes three series’ viz:  Akshara, Mantra and Evolution. The subject of paintings is close to Indian (Hindu) culture and tradition.. Following is the excerpt of the interview that introduces us to SUGO’s insight into these creations:  

Q:  How do you define calligraphy; as an art or skill?
S.G.: Calligraphy is an Art, it is a creative process and require complete concentration. The lines and strokes in letters cannot be corrected to create desired effect. Corrections would mean catch-22 situation of mind, and creation in one stroke means affirmation of idea and concept. An elegant movement of brush on paper or canvas indicates a through thought, of being calm and spontaneous expressing confidence and deep understanding of life; it is a meditative process where you have to train your mind to be limbo. 

Q: Why did you decide working o Mantra or Motifs? Do you intend to introduce world to Hinduism?
S.G: These Motifs scrupulously represent India. India has rich cultural heritage and motifs are a part of Hinduism. The Motifs stated in Hindu scriptures have therapeutic value. I know this from my life long experience, as I hail from a Brahmin family where chanting mantra is a ritual followed every day. The main reason of chanting these Mantras are that, they lead to peace of mind, develop concentration and takes oneself away from vice motives, thus cleansing the soul and developing a sound mind that leads to a sound body. I want to disclose this Indian treasure to the world; make people all over the world know the greatness of Hinduism and adopt it for self well being. 

Q: So is the series called ‘Evolution’ related to Indian (Hindu) belief?
S.G.: Yes, because to know why one exists, it is necessary to understand life on wider scale; universal level and to know about its creator; Lord Brahma (Hindus staunchly believe Brahma to be the creator of Universe which he created from miniscule particle). I have tried to represent Brahma’s creation symbolically by using letters which are the minute elements of large group larger forms, ‘word’ and ‘sentences’.  Thus they form language; a Universe. So, I present the Hindu traditional theory of evolution through letters.  

  Q: Why did you create ‘Akshara’ series?
S.G.: Akshara depicts Devnagari script. I am fascinated by this script.. Each shape is very rhythmic and has graceful twists and turns’ that personify them. Here I would like to briefly explain its universal importance in Indian context. When these letters are viewed as motifs, they become mystical sounds and visuals, of Hindu origin which are sacred and important (Sanskrit language), in the language which is considered to be the language of Hindu God.

Q: Do you think there is an underlying link between calligraphy developed in various cultures and places? Does it have a particular indication?
S.G: I think there is a common link in Calligraphy found all over the world. Basically it is about writing ‘letters of particular language’ and when you speak of language, naturally it is influenced by culture and tradition, so the beauty and goodness of a particular culture gets reflected. This is a truth about every region’s Calligraphy. This indicates that Calligraphy proposes to deviate oneself from destructive thoughts and actions, freedom of soul from worldly matter and adoption of love and peace by awakening the mind. 

Q: Tell us about your process of creation.
S.G.: I believe in simplicity. Creative process becomes simple when you have definite image in your mind and completely focus on presenting it visually.  Focus makes action spontaneous and spontaneity is but simplicity for me. Hues represent mirage and forms become abstract. My tools are controlled by my mental state in that particular moment, so the final output is not very similar to original image. Original concept of art work remains unchanged but image turns ephemeral. As reflection goes on becoming intense, it moves from form to formless; forms merge into background and turns into abstraction.   

Q: How was your experience of growing as an artist?
S.G.: This is a good question, because I would genuinely like to mention about great men who have helped me in my creativity process. Right from my learning years in Sir.J. J. School of Art I am guided by my gurus in the field of painting. The first experience of judgment of my creation by my teacher in Sir J. J. School was a turning point. Here Calligraphy was one of the subjects in the curriculum and I scored the least in my first Calligraphy test paper and my professor pestered me for it. That pestering helped me, inspired me to do the best in future papers and to my teacher’s surprise I scored the highest in latter exams. And now I have reached the stage where I can spontaneously express myself on canvas. 

Q: Which artists have influenced your work?
S.G: I am lucky to meet, speak and seek admiration from great men from this field. Earlier, I used to do realistic painting and at that time Madhav Satwalekar, N S Bandre, Sir Dhurandher had attended my exhibition and personally complimented me. Prabhakar Kolte Sir was my teacher in Sir J. J. School of Art so I have spent good part of my academic period under his guidance and seen him improvising the skill and talents of students by his lectures and practically involvement in our work. Even after School days I have good relation with Sir on personal level. I consider Mario Miranda as my mentor, as he provided me the opportunity to start my career in Advertising field by recommending my name and also appreciated my works and bought three of my paintings. I owe my self confidence to excel in my profession as well as passion to Mario Miranda. Then, I also had chance to meet and speak to M.F.Hussain, M S Joshi, Raiba, Dhond Sir and also have face-to –face conversation with K.H.Ara. I was completely awed by his personality. He was very simply dressed, spoke gently and was kind enough to speak to me, even though we had met first time; he had no airs about his fame. I also had brush with Sankar Palsikar, M S Joshi.  In fact, I seen demo of Palshikar’s painting…a great…great experience indeed! Now, it is a great pleasure to meet great men about whom we have studied, whose books we have read. Their personalities are as great as their works.

Q: What is your passion other than painting?
S.G.I love to read books and write about great men and create poems.

Q: Which books do you prefer? Fiction or Non- fiction?

S.G: I like to read auto-biographies and books on art. I do not like fantasy and imaginary stories as in fiction. The philosophies of great men inspire me to tread on their foot prints on the way to success; in painting and real life. I have read Dnyaneshwari and philosophies by Zen masters, Osho, Krishnamurthy and other influential personalities.  I read their philosophies and adopt it. According to Zen Art, Brush strokes speaks mind. So I practice meditation, concentration and peace within myself so that it naturally and spontaneously gets projected on canvas and paper. I gain knowledge about universe and purpose of existence of every micro and macro life on earth, making the nature and this whole universe closer to me. Through books I could know and study Picasso, Van-Gogh, Burnett, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and now I am one of their biggest fans.  

Q: How is your association with artists from painting and other fields of fine art?
S.G.: It is a great pleasure to be in a company of intellectual giants from various field of art. Creativity is ever developing process. These men and their insights, manner and approach towards life and art inspire me. I try to incorporate every form of art in my creations. Honestly, I extract positive energy of every field to merge it in my creation.
Q:  With advent of technology, computer, software developing fonts, even the calligraphic ones; ‘writing’ is fast obscuring’, then what is its future?
S.G.: It is not possible to deny the existence of technology in any field; even in art. Advanced technology has undoubtedly contributed in saving time and manual hard work. Everything has become handy and easily accessible, even ‘writing’, as it is replaced by operating keyboard. Yes, calligraphic fonts are available and due to keyboards, writing is diminishing. It is easy to make templates using this benefit of technology. But artistically hand- written words have their beauty and powerful impact. And Writing art- Calligraphy is not just writing artistically, but it is a matter of profound dedication, concentration and purity of thoughts that go into creation of each and every letter. The fine and bold strokes can be drawn only by perseverance and can change for each artwork, giving every art work a personal touch, unlike ‘fonts’ which are unalterable and have no personal touch and feelings. No other medium of calligraphic expression will surpass handwritten medium. So, written calligraphy will always have secured place in Art, despite of technological progress.

Q: Painting, is your passion or profession?
S.G.: Painting is purely a passion for me. I am into the field of Advertising and earn enough for my family and to nurture my passion of painting without stress. I am lucky that I can afford to buy canvas and other tools for paintings without worry. For me painting is a way to escape from worldly worries and relax. It is a way to meditation. I am filled with vibrant energy, be poised, calm and stable in my thoughts and actions after I paint.  

JK: Thank you for the interview.
S.G.: My pleasure.