Sunday 24 August 2014

Tapping the traditional roots - Warli paintings by Jiva Soma Mhase.

 Jiva Soma Mhase.
On this auspicious occasion of Independence Celebration week, I felt like tapping the very roots of Indian Art’s tradition and culture. Hailing from Mumbai, situated in Western India, I tapped the very old folk art of painting- Warli paintings. Warli art is purely tribal art, painted by tribesmen living at Thane, Dahanu and other areas at close proximity to Mumbai. Close proximity to urbanized society has not affected the style of Warli painting, though some development has been incorporated. Since Warli painting is commonly found paintings on walls and in courtyards of tribesmen who were illiterates, there are no records of the exact origin. But it was discovered in early seventies. 
(Strictly for illustrative purpose only)
Jivya Soma Mashe is one of the most appreciated Warli artists. His works are displayed at National and International galleries. He is the savior of this Art and also instrumental in spreading his ethnic style all over the world. Like any other Warli artist, he expresses daily and social events of these tribesmen. He too has elaborate presentation of nature and culture of these men in his creations. Along with hunting, dancing, sowing and harvesting scenes, there are huts and forms of animals that are the part of their daily life.  

The style of Warli painting in original form is unique. In the sense, it is especially done on austere mud base using one color, white, with occasional dots in red and yellow. This color is obtained from grounding rice into white powder.

Though devout Warli artists prefer to adhere to traditional images, artists like Jiva Soma Mhase understands the value of bringing in new knowledge and ideas in Warli painting and thus we find tradition blended with upgraded knowledge and conflicts of these tribal for survival due to modernization.  

Truly, Warli style murals and paintings look more effective on walls, but as a part of development, they have started spreading their art to non-Warli communities. And now it is often done on paper and cloth incorporating traditional decorative Warli motifs with modern elements, and even these are fast becoming popular.  

All the traditional inclined art lovers can always approach this non-arrogant, simple and rustic artist for more interesting facts of this tribe and its art. 

by Pankaja JK 


Monday 18 August 2014

ART TALK by Priti Tamot, 23rd August 5.30 at Art Gate Gallery

When Nature is resurgently splendid amid decay :Pirti Tamot

( Pirti Tamot working in studio )
As one gazes at the prints on display at an exhibition of Priti Tamot’s work at the Kala Parishad one is struck, first of all, by the literal and visual highpoints. As a child the artist was fascinated by a passage from kalidasa’s ‘Meghdootam’ where Megha, the cloud was told by the Yaksha that a hill from on high would resemble a woman’s breast (shades of the tortured priest in Maugham’s ‘Rain’?). This lending of a whole new perspective by a change in the observer’s position stayed with her and the ‘birds-eye view’ is the predominant perspective in her creations.

PT: The future isn’t very bright for the simple reasons that people here do not understand graphics. Most of my work is purchased by foreigners. The only thing that people in India are interested in is canvas as there is a misconception that prints (which are published on paper) do not last. I would like to say here mat a print if conversed by glass and taken reasonable care of can easily last 70-80 years. What further confounds the public is the printing of Xeroxes of printings of who wonder why they should pay, say RS 10,000, for a print when they can get a copy for a pittance. They should understand that a print is the original, not a copy.

Upon closer inspection one notices the recurrent themes of erosion and dilapidation. Of palaces and forts fallen prey to the ravages of time. These harbingers of a glorious era reclaimed by nature. The melting together of stone and creeper in such a manner they are not separate entities anymore but part of the same continuum. It is not so much nature run amok as returning to stake its claim as the rightful owner after a brief interlude by pretenders to the throne. And one can’t help but think of the magnificent monuments as interlopers. An oberration, no less so for having been cast in stone. The annexation, however, is from any element of coercion.the undulating vines slowly seducing the arches while moss plays footsie with the courtyard; a testimony to the wiles adopted by nature.

(Rare Prints by Priti Tamot)

When one is finally face-to-face with the artiste one scrutinies the forty-something lady seated across the table to discern any traces of inner turmoil or a vestigial loneliness that find expression in her work, of which decay and depredation is the leitmotif. One may as well look for meaning in an Aditya Chopra flick. Comfortably ensconced in her beautifully constructed house the lady exudes serenity and a quiet confidence. Dressed in a printed sari with her hair pulled back in a no-frills bun she seems the archetypal Hausdorff whose worst nightmares would comprise a dust- speckled mantelpiece or God forbid, roaches in the kitchen.

Meet Priti Tamot; graphic artiste extraordinaire. Honoured with a national fellowship by the government of India and winner of the 71 st annual All India Art Exhibition (AIFACS 2000) as well as the all India Art Exhibition, 2001 Tamot was the recipient of the MP state Award in 1999. Success rests lightly on the shoulders of this diminutive woman who has exhibited her works at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi, Jehangir and Zen galleries in Mumbai, Bharat Bhavan, Alliannce Francaise Bhopal as well as in Europe. When asked about future plans, with touching modesty she expresses a desire to’improve’.

Born academically in lnelined parents (her father was a sanakrit professor and Amateur painter) she did her BSc and followed it up with an MA in Fine Arts from Vikram University, Ujjain. Marriage and looking after her children kept her away from her avocation initially but it wasn’t long before she succumbed to the muse. She joined the Bharat Bhavan workshop in 1988 and hasn’t looked back since.

During a lengthy chat with the Central Chronicle, interspersed with frequent trips to the kitchen for cups of steaming tea, Priti Tamot revealed many shades of her personality, the vibrancy of which is, perhaps, matched only by the hues of her palette. Excerpts from the interview:

Sk: When did you start painting?

PT: As far back as I can remember I have wanted to paint. When in Ujjain I took classes in art from Vishnu Sridhar Wakhandkar, who discovered the cave drawings at Bhimbetka. He was in the midst of his search in those days and the graphic descriptions he provided about his visits to Bhopal and surrounding areas resulted in an interest in architecture that lasts to this day

SK: were you inspired by any particular genre or artist?

PT: My role model among contemporary painters was Almelkarji who was a master at creating a plethora of details with the repetitive stroke. Detailed work has always attracted me and so jain miniatures as well as the figures of Ajanta hold a special place in my heart.

SK: Any western painters?

PT: No, not really.

SK: What made you shift from painting to graphics?

PT: First of all, it was a new medium and that is always alluring. Lots of detail in what I create, like I said, has what I have always hankered for and graphics allowed me to pursue this much more than canvas did. Things I could only dream of while working on canvas were a tangible reality while doing graphics.

(Rare Prints by Priti Tamot)
SK: The terms ‘graphic artiste’ and ‘graphics’ seem to be much misunderstood. Could you explain what exactly these means?

PT: I’m glad you brought this up. A few weeks ago I had given a detailed explanation to a gentleman from the vernacular press but he went ahead and wrote his own version. Graphic means ‘painted picture’. How it works is; drawings are made on a zinc plate with the aid of a nail polish like substance and the plate is then dipped in acid. That part of the picture, Which has been worked upon, is not dissolved when exposed to acid and further drawings are made after which the plate is again dipped in acid. This is done repeatedly with the result that those parts of the plate which have had prolonged exposure to acid acquire greater depth while those dipped only a few times remain lighter. When the plate is coloured using printing colour the hue permeates the most to the areas with the greatest depth while the lighter areas remain relatively unaffected. After this the plate is printed onto paper in the same way that is done in any printing press.

SK: Are the monuments in your pictures taken from real life?

PT: Let me say that the genesis of any print that I do lies in real life but by the  time I remix it in my head it  in my head it bears absolutely no resemblance to the original. You wont’s find the palaces depicted in my prints in Bhopal, or elsewhere. And this is how it should be.

SK:Any plans to marry painting with graphics in your quest for perfection?

PT: I am experimenting with something for a show to be held in japan soon. The thing is that if a graphic artiste works on canvas his artistic genealogy is immediately evident.

SK: what do you make of the recent trend to launch young artistes with gala openings followed by glitzy luncheons? Do you think their sales are based more on hype than on intrinsic value of their work?

PT: The publicity, bookings and all the promotional stuff is dealt with by the galleries who make 33 per cent on every sale and so I think it is unfair to blame the artiste for the ritzy openings. Then again times have changed and today everyone wants to have oodles of money so……(trails off).

SK: Painters like Hussain, Raza etc. command as tronomical prices…….

PT: (interrupts quickly) So what is wrong with that? People like Raza, Hussain, are ‘old masters’ to whom we are indebted for having gotten rid of the stigma that was attached to being an artiste. Before Hussain the general perception of a painter was that he was perennially penurious. In any art there are people who get critical acclaim and those who win popular acclaim with a tiny minority attaining both. Hussain is among this rare breed.

SK: You seem quite enamored of him

PT: on the contrary. Personally, I identify more with Raza’s paintings but Hussain’s contribution towards bettering the financial condition of artistes cannot be overstated. The way he has marketed himself is something from which all of us can learn.

SK: Have you?

PT: (A little taken aback) My material needs are very limited. Plus my husband is quite well-to-do and so I do not have to depend on the income from my work. So you could say that there is no pressure to do so.

SK: How do you see the future of graphics in India?

SK: Finally, as an artiste what do you look forward to?

PT: A time when I am better able to transfer my thoughts onto paper. What else? Perhaps getting international recognition to the same extent that I have received in India (smiles)

(Report courtesy Chronicle :Saturday Bhopal)

Friday 15 August 2014

”ECHOES IN BLACK” by Satish Wavare


You are cordially invited to Satish Wavare Solo show of drawings preview on 18th Aug 2014...

Gallery No-3,Jehangir Art Gallery
5:30 pm On wards
  Venue- Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai.India.The Show will continue till 24th August 2014,11am-7pm.

(Note : This PRESS RELEASE for all Indian news paper and Media, leading PR Agency  and online social media, please share )

Sunday 10 August 2014

‘Manas Kala’ and ‘Paintings are us’are the two branches of Art house

‘Manas Kala’ and ‘Paintings are us’ are the two branches of Art house. As the connoisseurs of Art, we shoulder the responsibility of inspiring and representing creativity of artists from India. Our motto to promote them instigates from the thought, that they (artists) are the historians of our culture and communities. They nurture origins of culture through visual medium and truly signify Indian civilization.  May we continue in this great work of presenting cultural and traditional heritage of India through Painting Art.

On the onset of Independence Day celebration, from August 16, both the Art Houses- ‘Manas Kala and ‘Paintings are us’ are jointly organizing exhibition cum sale of works by a few well know as well as budding artists, who have splashed the joy, and vibrancy of our cultural heritage on their canvas in figurative or abstract forms. 
Painting by Rimjhim

India is the only unique land which has traditions and customs associated with every element of nature, be it tress, animals or any other geographical feature.. Every element is linked to human life, behavior and survival. Artist G K Laxman has realistic creations that capture Landscapes and Portrait in all medium. In this exhibition he has shown beautiful visual of holy river Ganga during dusk and the rituals that are carried on it. As the devotees perform Ganga Aarti with lamps and let them float on the water the glimmer and shine of river Ganga becomes more exuberant; this is but the physical appearance. But there is more value added to it.   Indians believe that every river is the Goddess and each denotes purity. This staunch belief arises from the fact that India is an agricultural country, water resources play important role in life of people. Rivers are considered sacred as they are the main source of water in India. Religious values are attached to rivers and treated with spiritual importance. Praying and reverence of rivers is a way of showing respect to these natural sources of life support. River are referred to as Mother, which itself means life giver.

As we move on from the association of natural elements with people, and connotation of spiritual value added to them, we see that there is a delightful painting by artist Ramesh Kharat, whose Figurative painting is on display. One can feel the artist’s love to express through lavish use of different shades of colors. The painting has meticulous details signifying deep intensity. The intensity reverberated through the mind and thoughts of the observer and one starts relating emotions and feelings in the painting with his own life. Truly, a painting can be called a successful artwork only when it brings out essence of life on lifeless canvas and make the observer one with the creation. Artists Kharat is successful in invoking this feeling.  

Artist Bala introduces us to meditational aura through his Abstract paintings. Personally he is mesmerized by the Buddha and specializes in relentlessly painting different shades of abstract and the Buddha. The paintings in this exhibition are abstract forms, and very close to meditational mood. Here too we find soft earthy colors perched on the canvas. There is a tranquil and serene feeling in each creation. A constant look at it swipes the viewer in the flow to the point of being immersed in an unknown, mystical zone, where there is peace of mind and calm heart.
Painting by Ramesh Kharat

As mentioned earlier Art is a true representative of culture and traditions. Speaking purely of India we find, nature of people is shaped according to their association with their immediate surrounding and Nature. We can see these influences not only on the behavioral pattern but even the variation in ethnicity. Our Folk art truly represents the ethnic uniqueness. Artist Kapil adores and expresses his love for culture in folk art style. He follows Madhubani style of painting. In this exhibition he displays a graceful, emotive, coy Indian rural lady by using sketching style of pen on paper. This kind of fine line sketching is one of the styles in Madhubani called ‘Kachni’ where delicate fine lines are used instead of many colors. Madhubani style paintings seem divine blessing. The woman here is one of the divine blessings and is a part of many a beautiful creation by Almighty. This aesthetic creation represents tradition in most coveted and art form of India. 

Artists Bhavna’s paintings show us the influence of nature on entire lifestyle of people. She has used the most placid and barren land- the dessert in India and its effect. The arid land makes the faces dry and wrinkled. The tiring heat and difficult mode of survival show on the faces of the people living there. Their faces are totally wrinkled. These wrinkled faces are live books defining and elaborating the Survival of the Fittest concept.  They are most expressive faces. Bhavana captures these expressions in her paintings. She deliberately paints faces in black and white and tops them with colorful turban. Turbans are one of the necessary accessories in dressing. These headgears save people from sandstorm and attack by the thief on these secluded sandy paths.  The black and white faces (representing struggle) and colorful turbans hint us that the dry land of Rajasthan seems to raise colorful hopes of life and survival through (turbans) which have varied vibrant shades. To make it more intense, the artists has used sketching style with medium of pencil and charcoal and acrylic color.

India can be simply praised and admired for its variation in landscapes without associating them with virtues and values. The visual treat of landscapes is presented by artist Jacob. 

Artist Sunny Bhanushali is also presenting his beautiful imagination on canvas with charcoal.  He believes art is elevated to a personal expression that is born within the mind and soul, but comes alive in vivid forms and colours, this is evident in the kind of work he does. Sunny, with his philosophical mind, believes that human race is blinded by the society and their false rules and religious believes. Everybody is limited by the knowledge we have from our past and society. We are handicapped to believe nothing exist beyond our five senses. Every painting of his portrays ETERNAL FREEDOM, Freedom beyond known expressions, freedom beyond rules, religions, society, false beliefs, education etc. It is about true FREEDOM, exploring your true self, dissolved in inner self, eternal peace.

We hope this exhibition will bring you closer to Indian Contemporary art and artists. Truly, the busy life schedule has taken away our leisure time and thoughts of appreciating beauty. But you will surely compensate this loss by having blissful experience while watching this vibrant exhibition by artists G K Laxman, Ramesh Kharat, Sunny Bhanusali, S. Bala, Kapil, Bhavana, Jacob and Sanchit Verma.The show begins on 16th to 22nd continues at Art Gate Gallery Mumbai

Welcome to the show  ‘Freedom of colour...

- Pankaja JK
16th to 22nd August :  opening at 12 pm to 7pm Art Gate Gallery, Churchgate Mumbai
Art Gate Gallery can be contacted at:022 4213 8855
or emailed at

(Note : This PRESS RELEASE for all Indian news paper and Media, leading PR Agency  and online social media, please share )

Thursday 7 August 2014

ग्नोसिस Gnosis : Bhikshu

Artist snap near Dharamshala: Yr 2008
बौद्ध धर्म आणि रचनात्मकता यांत काही साम्य आहे का? होय, असू शकते. बौद्ध धम्म हा स्वतःला ओळखण्याचा, शरीर, आत्म बोध आणि आत्म नियंत्रणावर बुद्द्धीचा ताबा स्थापित करण्यासाठी आहे. रचनात्मकताही  काही अंशी ह्याच पद्धतीचे अनुसरण करते. ह्यात निर्माता, निर्मिती करताना, त्या विषयाच्या मुळाच्या शोधासाठी एकाग्र  चीत्तेने लक्ष केंद्रित करताना चिंतनशील होतो. अशा प्रकारे तो त्या निर्मितीच्या भौतिक देखाव्यावर चिंतनात्मक प्रभावाचे वर्चस्व स्थापित करतो. बौद्ध धर्म आणि रचनात्मकता, आपले खरे आणि गुप्त स्वरूप उलघडतात. 
दोघांतून चेतनेची वृद्धी होते. ध्यान ही एक सोपी प्रक्रिया नाही आहे आणि जेव्हा तुम्ही ध्यानमग्न व्हायला बसता, त्या वेळीच आपले लक्ष आधीपेक्षा जास्त विचलित होते. एकही क्षण तुम्हाला मनाने स्थिर झाल्यासारखे वाटत नाही.  हे असते अप्रत्याशित स्वभावाचे परीक्षण. रचनात्मकता सुद्धा अन्दधुन्दितुन स्थिरता शोधत निश्चलतेणे याच प्रवाहाने वाहत असते. 
New Painting by Umakant Tawde : (image copyright by Artist)

उमाकांत खूप वर्षांपासून बौध्द धम्मच्या संकल्पना आणि बुद्धांच्या प्रतिमांवर पेंटींग करत आहे. ग्नोसिस/ भिकु, हे यातील पुढचे पायदान आहे. ह्या पेंटिंग्स मध्ये त्याने थेट बुद्ध धम्म प्रचारक- 'भिक्षू' रंगविले आहेत. दलाई लामांबरोबरच नवशिक्ये  भिक्षू दाखविले आहेत. आपल्याला ह्या नवाशिख्या भिक्षूंच्या अभिवाक्तींमध्ये कुठेच शांत भाव आणि ध्यानी चित्त दिसत नाही, परंतू चिंतनशील भिक्षू होण्यापूर्वीचा बालिश, खोडकरपणा त्यांच्या हाव-भावातून दिसून येतो. ह्या सहज वृत्तीने त्यांना आपले भौतिक विश्व जाणता येते आणि मग बौध्द धम्माच्या शिकवणीच्या आधाराने त्यांच्यात आत्मजागरूकता विकसित होते. रचनात्मक प्रक्रियाही ह्या नवशिक्या भिकुंप्रमाणेच आहे- आत्मजागरूकता आणि भौतिक व बाह्य भाव आणि भावनांतून निव्रुत्ति. लहान वयातच कठीण ज्ञानाचे भडिमार न करता, त्यांना आपल्या वयाप्रमाणे बागडू देऊन आणि त्या बरोबरच व्यवस्थित रित्या ज्ञान दिल्याने त्यांचा शांत आणि संयमी भिक्षू मध्ये बदल होतो.     

 भिकू होण्यापूर्वीची हि प्रारंभिक अवस्था दाखविण्यासाठी उमाकांत ने रंगबिरंगी पार्श्वभूमी रंगविली आहे, आपल्याला अपेक्षित असल्याप्रमाणे, बौद्ध धर्माशी जोडलेले शांत रंग वापरले नाही. नवशिक्या भिकुंचा भोळसटप व तेज ह्या रंगांतून दुमदुमते. ह्या फोटोग्राफिक शैलीतील पेंटिंग्सची रंगबेरंगी पार्श्वभूमी अमूर्त आहे, कुठल्याही अलंकारिक धुंदीरहित.  

आणि सरतेशेवटी, न वगळता येणारे,  हिम्मत आणि नम्रतेचे प्रतिक दलाई लामा, यांचे पेंटिंग आहे. त्यांच्याप्रमाणे कलाकारामधेही हे दोन्ही गुण असले पाहिजे. हिम्मत- सगळे अडथळे आणि त्रास जे आंतरिक दृष्टी विकसित करण्यात व्यत्यय निर्माण करतात ते त्यागण्याची मनाची तयारी। नम्रता- एक महत्वाचा अध्यात्मिक गुण असला पाहिजे ज्याने चिंता न करता टीका सहन करता येते, जेणेकरून अध्यात्माचे सर्वात उच्चतम स्थरावर पोहचता येते.  

प्रत्येक पेंटिंग अद्वितीय आहे, कारण छबी जरी ओळखीच्या असल्या तरी ते वास्तविकतेचे रूपक आहेत आणि आपल्याला अध्यात्मिक विकासाचा मार्ग  दाखवितात, मग ते भिक्षूंनी निवडलेल्या बौद्ध धर्माच्या मार्गाने असो किंवा सर्जनशीलता असो. मार्ग कठीण आहे, आणि ह्या विकासाचे मुख्य अडथळे आहेत विचारसरणी आणि मनाची चलबिचल. भिक्षूंच्या किंवा कलाकाराच्या आत्मिक जागरुकतेनेच अध्यात्मिक विकास संभाव आहे. हे प्रदर्शन बघण्याजोगे आहे कारण ह्या दृश्यांनी ज्ञानात भर होते. 
New Painting by Umakant Tawde : (image copyright by Artist)

Does Buddhism and creativity have anything in common? May be, Yes. Buddhism is all about exploring self and attaining the power of mind over body, self realization and self- control. Creativity adopts or follows some methods of Buddhism, where in creator becomes meditative as he goes in creating and concentrating on exploring the depth of theme, thus, gaining a meditative hold over the physical appearance of the painting. Both, Buddhism and Creativity, cultivate our real and cryptic nature.

There is rise of ‘Consciousness’ in both. Meditation is not an easy process and when you sit to meditate you have more diversions of thought than ever before; there is not a single moment when you feel stable at soul. It is probing into unpredictable nature. Creativity follows same ebb of finding stability amongst chaos and move with the tranquil flow.

Artist Umakant has been working on the concepts and figures of the Buddha since last many years. Gnosis/ Bhikus is one further step in his creation of thought involving Buddha and Buddhism. . Here he directly paints the representatives of the Buddha- the Monks. Along with Dalai Lama, there are novice monks. We find that these novice monks’ expressions are not serene and meditative but seem to be at the infantile stage of becoming Monks, they have childish innocence on their face. They are allowed to explore their physical world and with the aid of Buddhist preaching they slowly develop self awareness.

Process of creativity is like these novice monks, a process of becoming self aware and breaking free from of influence from others. Without imposing grueling knowledge and letting them be of their age; this natural way of growing and side-by-side acquiring knowledge in a systematic way would turn them into serene and self-controlled Monks.

To show this initial stage of proceeding to be a true monks, Umakant has made use of colorful background and not as expected of Buddhism (and taken for granted) the association of the subtle shades. The innocence and radiance of novice monks is reverberated in these colors. These photographic style representations have characteristic colorful abstract backgrounds, devoid of figurative, mysterious mist.  

Lastly, not to ignore the painting of The Dalai Lama who displays courage and humility. Like him artist should also have both. Courage to discard all that which is troublesome and hurdle in finding inner vision. Humility, a spiritual nature to accept criticism without disquiet and gain highest level of spirituality.  

These paintings are unique in the sense that the images are well-known but they are metaphoric representation of real creativity and shows us that path to spiritual growth; be it by following Buddhism as by Buddhist monks or by being creative person. The path is difficult and main hurdle is mind and soul and development of self awareness. Self awareness by Monks or by artist, would surely lead to spiritual upliftment. The show is worth watching as imparting knowledge through visual means.

- by Pankaja JK 
Show Details:
Venue- Hiriji Art Gallery, 1st Jehangir Art Gallery, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai.India.Opening on 20 th August 5:30 pm
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